2 people still missing after 6 bodies pulled from St. Lawrence River near Ontario-Quebec border

The dead are believed to be families attempting to enter the U.S. illegally

Police say they are still searching for two people after six bodies were recovered from the St. Lawrence River near Akwesasne.

The six dead include five adults and one child under the age of three who had a Canadian passport, the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Services said in a media release on Friday morning. They are believed to be an Indian family and a Romanian family who were attempting to cross into the U.S. from Canada illegally, according to police.

Casey Oakes, 30, an Akwesasne resident, remains missing, police said. Oakes was last seen on Wednesday boarding a small, light blue vessel, leaving Cornwall Island. He was dressed in black, wearing a black face mask and a black tuque.

Also missing is an infant believed to be from the Romanian family.

Police located Oakes’s vessel near the six bodies, Lee-Ann O’Brien, the deputy chief of police for the Akwesasne Mohawk police service, said at a news conference. They also located a Canadian passport that they believe belongs to the missing infant, she said.

A storm that brought high winds and sleet rolled through the area on Wednesday night. “It was not a good time to be out on the water,” O’Brien said.

Kevin Sturge Lazore, Captain of the Akwasasne Fire Department’s Station 3, which participated in the search Thursday afternoon, mobilized 15 volunteer firefighters to search the river on Thursday after Oakes’s family reported him missing.


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