Family of four victims of submerged car mystery in Ontario shattered by deaths

The girls’ father, Mohammed Shafee, says the family was returning from a five-day vacation in Niagara Falls, Ont., and had stopped for the night in a Kingston hotel to break up the long drive back to Montreal.

Flower sit near the Kingston Mills locks on the Rideau Canal

MONTREAL — The devastated relatives of four Montrealers who were killed this week when their car plunged into a canal in Ontario say they’ve hardly slept or eaten since learning of the tragedy.

The bodies of three sisters — Geeti, 13, Sahar, 17, and Zainab Shafia, 19 — and their father’s cousin, Rona Amir Mohammed, 50, were found in a submerged car at the bottom of a lock in Kingston.

The girls’ father, Mohammed Shafee, says the family was returning from a five-day vacation in Niagara Falls, Ont., and had stopped for the night in a Kingston hotel to break up the long drive back to Montreal.

Shafee says he woke up around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday to find one of the family cars missing from the hotel’s parking lot.

Reports have said Zainab was driving the car but Shafee said she did not have a driver’s permit.

He says she frequently asked him to let her drive and often took his keys to start one of the vehicles.

Shafee says his wife and their four other children are shattered by the deaths and have been crying for days.

He says the family, who originate from Kabul, Afghanistan, moved to Canada two years ago from Dubai.

Police investigators in Kingston are baffled by how the car left the roadway and ended up under about three metres of water in the lock.

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