Akwesasne Mohawk Police confirmed on Tuesday that Casey Oakes, the still-missing 30-year-old man, is linked to the discovery of the bodies of eight migrants in the St. Lawrence River last Thursday and Friday.

“Yes, investigators now believe Casey Oakes was related to the eight victims found last week during a search of the St. Lawrence River,” local deputy police chief Lee-Ann O’Brien said in an email. sent to La Presse.

She said, however, that “the investigation continues to evolve”, and that the police force will not provide “any further information at this time”. “The investigation is still in its early stages and we are still trying to piece things together to determine what happened,” Ms. O’Brien continued, inviting anyone “with information” to contact 613-575. -2340, or write to tips@akwesasne.ca.

Over the past few days, Mr Oakes’ boat had already been found overturned near the bodies of the eight migrants, two of whom were young children, but authorities have so far refused to establish a clear link between his disappearance and the tragedy which occurred.

Mr. Oakes was last seen at 9:30 p.m. last Wednesday. He was then in the process of launching a pale blue boat, at the eastern tip of Cornwall Island. He wore black snow pants, a black sweater, a black toque and a black face covering. Clothes identified as belonging to Mr. Oakes were also found at the scene, police said on Sunday.

No further details were given on the progress of the investigation on Tuesday as searches continued to locate the 30-year-old man. Several personnel have been mobilized in this direction for the past few days, including divers from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) who will “return to the search” and air support from the Quebec police force.

“Please avoid search areas and the command post for the time being,” authorities said Monday. “Local waterways continue to be searched. There are eight kilometers of waterways to search,” local police also said.

Amnesty International Canada Director France-Isabelle Langlois lamented Tuesday that the Awkesasne tragedy is “a chilling glimpse of what is likely to unfold in the coming days and weeks.”

“The shameful expansion of the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) across the border will inevitably lead to further human tragedies. People who flee their country to seek the protection of Canada have no choice but to undertake ever more dangerous journeys,” denounced the manager, whose group demonstrated in front of the Montreal offices of Justin Trudeau to demand the cancellation of the ETPS.

Remember that two families were decimated in this tragedy, one of Indian origin and the other of Romanian origin. The four Indian victims are from the Chaudhari family, Mehsana town police confirmed on Monday: the father, Praveenbhai Chaudhari, 50, the mother, Dakshaben, 45, their son, Meet, 20, and their daughter. , Vidhi, 23 years old.

The identity of the other family, of Romanian origin, had been made public by the authorities. They are Florin Iordache and Cristina Zenaida Iordache, both 28 years old and from Romania, and their two children aged 2 and 1, in possession of Canadian passports.

According to information first broadcast by Radio-Canada, Florin Iordache had seen his asylum application refused shortly before the tragedy. At the time of the events, he was therefore about to be expelled from the country. Relatives of the family also said that Mr. Iordache and his wife had resided in the Toronto area for more than a year. He was also planned to be picked up with his family from New York State.