(Reuters) – Police in Canada identified on Saturday two victims from eight bodies found from two families that died trying to cross the St. Lawrence River by boat from Canada into the United States this week.
Akwesasne Police said that 28-year old Florin Iordache had died. He also had two Canadian passports for two children, aged two and one. Their bodies were recovered. The police also identified the victim, Cristina (Monalisa Zenaida) Iordache.
The police believe that the tragedy could have happened on Wednesday evening in bad weather. They are searching for a person of interest who is missing in this case. The boat that he was driving was discovered near the location where the victims had been recovered.
Lee-Ann O'Brien, Deputy Chief, said that the victims were from two families - one Indian, and the other Romanian - who appeared to have been trying to illegally enter the United States.
Last week, President Joe Biden of the United States and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, agreed to prevent asylum seekers from entering Canada via unofficial border crossings. Critics argued that this could encourage refugees and migrants who are crossing to take greater risks.
The Akwesasne Police said that the agreement to close all unofficial border crossings, including Roxham Road, in Quebec, shouldn't have been a factor here, because the families wanted to go to America, not Canada.
In Canada, Manitoba province, a family of four Indians died from frostbite last year while trying to enter the United States.
The Akwesasne Reserve straddles the St. Lawrence River on both sides, Canada and New York.
Dulude said that more people are using Akwesasne to sneakily enter the United States. There were 80 interceptions this year and most of them were Indians or Romanians.