“Local Man Found Dead after Boat Discovery with 8 Migrant Victims”

By | July 29, 2023



The body of a man who went missing after his boat was found near the bodies of eight migrants in the St. Lawrence River has been found. Casey Oakes, 30, was identified by the Quebec coroner’s office. The investigation into the deaths of Oakes and the eight migrants is ongoing. The migrants died while trying to cross illegally into the United States through Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. Akwesasne’s geography makes it a popular spot for smugglers. The bodies of the migrants, including four from India and four of Romanian descent, were found in March. Sidhartha Banerjee reported

Man Found dead After Boat Discovery in Akwesasne St. Lawrence River Incident

The body of a local man who had been missing since his boat was found near the bodies of eight migrants in the St. Lawrence River in March has been discovered, according to the Akwesasne Mohawk Police. The Quebec coroner's office has identified the body as 30-year-old Casey Oakes.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Police, an Indigenous police force, released a statement confirming the identification of Oakes' body but provided no further information. The investigation into the deaths of Oakes and the eight migrants is still ongoing.

Oakes was last seen operating a boat the night before the first victims were discovered. The migrants died while attempting to illegally cross into the United States through Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, which spans Quebec, Ontario, and New York state. Akwesasne's geography makes it a popular area for human and contraband smugglers.

Oakes' body was discovered on July 3 near Ross Island, over three months after the migrants' bodies were found. The bodies of five adults and one child were found on March 30, followed by the discovery of an adult woman and a second child the next day.

The victims included four individuals from India, who were members of the Chaudhari family, and four individuals of Romanian descent. The deceased Indians were Praveenbhai Chaudhari (50), Dakshaben Chaudhari (45), Meet Chaudhari (20), and Vidhi Chaudhari (23). The Romanian family consisted of Florin Iordache (28), Cristina (Monalisa) Zenaida Iordache (28), Evelin (2), and Elyen (1), both of whom were Canadian citizens.

While Oakes was never charged in connection with the crossing attempt, the Akwesasne police previously stated in April that they believed he was linked to the deaths of the eight migrants. The search for Oakes in local waterways was suspended on April 6.

In India, local police in Mehsana, Gujarat, have been searching for three men accused of running an immigration brokerage firm that used fake documents to help individuals enter countries. According to a report filed in India, the brokers received approximately $100,000 from the Chaudhari family to assist them in crossing into the United States by taxi. However, at the last minute, the family members were convinced to travel by boat instead, despite poor weather conditions in the area.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 28, 2023.