(Montreal) Akwesasne Mohawk Police are suspending “organized searches” of waterways in their territory to find the man who is linked to the eight migrants whose bodies were pulled from the St. Lawrence River last week.
City police said Thursday they believe they have exhausted their search efforts on the river to locate 30-year-old Casey Oakes. Unless they receive relevant new information, police will now resume routine patrol operations on the water.
Mohawk Police say they will continue their efforts to locate Mr. Oakes during their daily operations and ask the public to be on the lookout. Targeted searches with helicopters, divers and volunteer firefighters are suspended, however.
Casey Oakes was last seen on the evening of March 29 at the helm of a boat found near the bodies of members of two migrant families, one from Romania and the other from India.
According to police, these two families were trying to enter the United States illegally by crossing the river by boat from the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne, which straddles Montérégie, Ontario and New York State.
The authorities recalled that the particular geographical location of this territory made it a popular place for smugglers. Akwesasne police said last week that since last January they had made 48 separate interceptions involving 80 people who were trying to enter the United States illegally.