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Still no sign of missing Akwesasne man after St. Lawrence River drownings

still no sign of missing akwesasne man after st lawrence river drownings

There is still no sign of a missing Akwesasne man whose boat was found near where the bodies of eight people were pulled from the St. Lawrence River last week.

Akwesasne Mohawk Police had been looking for 30-year-old Casey Oakes since Thursday.

Oakes was last seen Wednesday night operating a boat that was found next to the bodies, but police have made no direct connections between Oakes and the deaths.

Police have said the eight victims consisted of two families, one of Romanian and another of Indian descent.

Authorities said they were allegedly attempting to illegally cross into the United States from Canada through Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, which straddles provincial and international boundaries and includes regions of Quebec, Ontario and New York state.

Police identified two of them on Saturday as Cristina (Monalisa) Zenaida Iordache, 28, and Florin Iordache, 28, who was carrying Canadian passports for two young children — aged one and two — who were among the victims. All four were of Romanian descent.

During an appearance Sunday on a French-language talk show, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his thoughts are with those affected by the tragedy, and that he wants to discourage people from putting themselves in danger to cross the border irregularly.

He said that is part of the reason why Canada signed an improvement to the Safe Third Country agreement with the United States to regulate and encourage proper immigration.

He told popular Radio-Canada television show Tout le monde en parle that Canada continues to be an open and welcoming country, “but we privilege people who come in a regular way.”