The search continues in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne to find Carey Oakes, the 30-year-old man who has been missing since Wednesday evening. Last week, the bodies of eight migrants, including two young children, were found dead in the St. Lawrence River near Mr. Oakes’ overturned boat.
The identities of three new migrants were made public by CBC on Sunday. They are Pravinbhai Veljibhai Chaudhari, a 50-year-old man, Vidhiben Pravinkumar Chaudhari, a 24-year-old woman, and Mitkumar Pravinbhai Chaudhari, a 20-year-old man. The three are part of the same Indian family, the national channel confirmed to police sources in India.
The day before, 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.
The two families had traveled from Ontario and were trying to make their way to the United States irregularly, according to local police.
Authorities say the territory’s unique geography makes it a popular spot for smugglers. The Mohawk community of Akwesasne straddles Quebec, Ontario and the United States. The area where the migrants were found, on the Quebec side, is about 130 kilometers from Montreal.
Local police made 48 separate interceptions involving 80 people who wanted to enter the United States illegally since January in this area.
The search continued all day Sunday to try to locate Casey Oakes, the 30-year-old community man who has been missing since Wednesday evening. It is estimated that the authorities must patrol for their research in a territory of eight kilometers. Several police services, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Sûreté du Québec and the Ontario police, provide assistance to the community of Akwesasne.
During their search, Akwesasne police located a man who was in a cabin on St. Regis Island and spoke with him, local police said in a statement Sunday. However, this man would not be linked to the investigation, it was said.
Casey Oakes was last seen at 9:30 p.m. last Wednesday launching a pale blue boat on the eastern tip of Cornwall Island. He wore black snow pants, a black sweater, a black toque and a black face covering.
His boat was then found overturned near the bodies of the eight migrants, including the two toddlers. Clothing identified as belonging to Mr. Oakes was also found, Akwesasne police said in a statement Sunday. The boat has been removed for investigation.
In recent days, the Mohawk Police Service of Akwesasne reported that they had established no link between the death of the eight migrants and the disappearance of Mr. Oakes. No such details were found in Sunday’s press release.
The search continued until sunset and is expected to resume on Monday.