Indians among eight found dead near US-Canada border
1 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
Members of an Indian family were among the eight persons who perished purportedly while attempting to cross the St Lawrence River into the United States at Akwesasne on Thursday.
Members of an Indian family were among the eight persons who perished purportedly while attempting to cross the St Lawrence River into the United States at Akwesasne on Thursday, according to CBC.
The bodies are those of six people and two children – one under the age of three with a Canadian passport and another an infant with a Canadian passport, according to CBC, citing Shawn Dulude, the police chief for the neighbouring Kanien’kehaka town of Akwesasne. Shawn Dulude made the statement to media during a news conference on Friday. According to the CBC, police recovered two more dead from the river on Friday after uncovering six bodies and an overturned boat during a search operation on Thursday.
People’s bodies were discovered in a marsh on the riverbank. According to CBC, they are believed to be an Indian family and a Romanian family attempting to enter the United States.
Casey Oakes, a 30-year-old Akwesasne resident, is still missing, according to authorities. Oakes was last seen boarding a small, light blue watercraft and leaving Cornwall Island on Wednesday. He was later reported missing, sparking a search that resulted in the finding of bodies.
On Friday, authorities discovered Casey Oakes’ sailboat near the bodies, according to Lee-Ann O’Brien, deputy chief of police for the Akwesasne Mohawk police agency. The victims’ identities have not yet been published.
After Casey Oakes’ family reported him missing, Captain Kevin Sturge Lazore of the Akwasasne Fire Department’s Station 3 dispatched 15 volunteer firemen to search the river on Thursday. According to the CBC, a dozen or so volunteers from other stations also assisted in the search.
The firefighters discovered the boat, its hull dented on the bottom as if it had hit ice or rock, according to Lazore. According to Kevin Sturge Lazore and Lee-Ann O’Brien, the boat was too tiny to securely transport seven or eight persons.