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Body found in river linked to Indian: Canadian police

The authorities say that this month they found a body from the St Lawrence river

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Body found in river linked to Indian: Canadian police
Toronto: Canadian authorities have found the body of a man connected to an investigation into the drowning of eight migrants, including members of an Indian family, in March when they were trying to enter the US from Canada illegally.

The authorities said on Friday that this month they found a body from the St Lawrence river. It belonged to Casey Oakes, who disappeared in March after he was last seen operating a boat later found near the bodies of the two migrant families. One of the families was from India and the other from Romania.

The Indian victims have been identified by their kin in India as Pravin Chaudhary (50), Dakshaben Chaudhary (45), their daughter Vidhi (23), and son Met (20).

Oakes was 30 when he disappeared on March 29. His body was found in the river on July 3 near Ross Island, but it took some time for the identity to be confirmed, police said.He had last been seen at night, launching into the St Lawrence river from the eastern part of Cornwall Island — near the Ontario-Quebec border — in a light-blue boat.

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His family reported him missing the next day, the same day the bodies of six people, including a two-year-old child, were found in the water. Two other bodies were recovered the following day.

Police believe the victims were trying to cross into the US. In a news release issued on Friday, Akwesasne Mohawk police said the coroner’s office recently confirmed Oakes’s identity.

“We wish to extend our condolences to Casey’s family and thank them for their patience during a difficult time,” the police service said. “No further information will be released at this time.”

The investigation into Oakes’s death, and the death of eight foreign nationals who were crossing the river by boat, continues, police said.

Oakes was never charged in connection with the ill-fated crossing attempt, but Akwesasne police said in April that investigators believed he was “connected to the eight deceased victims,” Global News Canada reported on Friday. They suspended their search for Oakes in local waterways on April 6.

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