Officials in the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne claim to have found two more bodies, including a newborn, among a group of migrants who died while trying to enter the United States.
Who was Killed while Attempting to Pass the Toll?
On March 31, officials in the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne reported finding the corpses of two more migrants who died while trying to cross from Canada into the United States, bringing the total to eight, including two children. The bodies of six persons, identified as members of two families of Romanian and Indian heritage, were discovered on Thursday in a swampy section of the St. Lawrence River, which marks the Canada-U.S. border. Border.
Investigators are still looking for Casey Oakes, 30, who was last seen Wednesday driving a boat found close to the bodies, as per Akwesasne Mohawk Police Chief Shawn Dulude.
A police aircraft saw the newest two corpses in the sea. “A total of eight corpses have already been retrieved from the seas.” “All are thought to have been seeking unlawful entrance into the United States from Canada,” Mr. Dulude added.
According to Mr. Dulude, the youngster found on Friday was a Canadian citizen and a member of a Romanian family. The corpse of an adult lady thought to be an Indian national, was also discovered. Mr. Dulude stated he didn’t know whether Oakes was alive but that he was a person of interest.
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Grand Chief Abram Benedict said, “Our community has been exploited.” “A catastrophe of this size has happened in our community before.We’ve had other casualties,” said Lee-Ann O’Brien, deputy chief of the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service.
According to Mr. O’Brien, six victims were found while Oakes was being sought after going missing on Thursday. A tiny boat from the east end of Cornwall Island, located on the St. Lawrence River and the Ontario side of the Mohawk territory, was last seen carrying Oakes of Akwesasne on Wednesday at about 9:30 p.m. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “This is a horrible situation. “We must completely comprehend what happened, how it happened, and take every precaution to prevent this from happening again.”
According to the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Force:
According to the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service, the first corpse was discovered in a swamp at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The region was further searched by a police marine unit with the assistance of the Canadian Coast Guard and the Hogansburg Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department.
Air support units from the Quebec Provincial Police and the Ontario Provincial Police also helped. Post-mortem and toxicology tests have been requested to ascertain the cause of the deaths.
According to Akwesasne police, over 80 persons have attempted to enter Canada or the United States illegally via Mohawk territory since January, most of whom are of Indian or Romanian heritage. Akwesasne crosses the Canada-United States border, with land in Quebec, Ontario, and New York.
Tony Jackson, an Akwesasne resident, said the weather on Wednesday, when Oakes was last seen, was calm throughout the day but later became turbulent.
“The east wind around here causes many waves, five feet tall, maybe higher,” Mr. Jackson said. He estimated Oakes’s boat to be less than six metres (20 feet) in length. He said it “asked for calamity” to cross the river in a tiny ship with so many people on board.
He said he had never heard Oakes mention transferring migrants. Nonetheless, Mr. Jackson said that he has personally watched groups of migrants crossing fields with bags in hand and boats transporting big groups of people over the river on occasion.
Six Indian people were saved from a sinking boat on the St. Regis River, which flows through Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, in April 2022. The seventh person seen leaving the ship and wading ashore was later identified as a U.S. citizen.