The four Indian nationals whose bodies were among eight corpses extracted from the St. Lawrence River last week were traveling to Canada on tourist visas, a police official from their home state said Monday.
Eight people – four from India and four from Romania – have died trying to illegally cross the United States from Canada, via the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne, which straddles Montérégie, Ontario and the State from New York.
Achal Tyagi, superintendent of police in the town of Mehsana in the western Indian state of Gujarat, confirmed to La Presse Canadienne that the four Indians who died last week were members of the Chaudhari family. : the father, Praveenbhai Chaudhari, 50 years old, the mother, Dakshaben, 45 years old, their son, Meet, 20 years old, and their daughter, Vidhi, 23 years old.
Mr. Praveenbhai was a farmer, Superintendent Tyagi said, adding that the family was from Mehsana district, which has a population of around 1.8 million. Indian police have opened an investigation and met with members of the Chaudhari family on Monday, he said.
Police are in contact with the Canadian Embassy in India and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Tyagi also said. The investigation is in its early stages and few new details were known Monday, he said.
Meanwhile, in Akwesasne, there was still no sign on Monday of the missing man whose boat was found near where the bodies of the eight migrants were pulled from the river.
Akwesasne Mohawk Police have been searching for 30-year-old Casey Oakes since last Thursday. Officers found the bodies of the victims while still searching for Mr. Oakes in the waters of the river.
Mr. Oakes was last seen Wednesday evening at the controls of the boat in Mohawk territory, but police have not established any direct link between him and the deaths of the migrants.
The police revealed that the eight victims belonged to a family of Romanian origin and another of Indian origin. Mohawk police had identified two of the migrants on Saturday: Cristina (Monalisa) Zenaida Iordache and Florin Iordache, 28. Florin Iordache was carrying Canadian passports for their two young children aged one and two, who are also among the victims.