Police said two of the eight dead were trying to enter the US from Canada

(Reuters) – Canadian police on Saturday identified two victims among eight bodies recovered from two families who died this week while trying to enter the United States from Canada by boat on the St. Lawrence River.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service said 28-year-old Florin Yordache died and had two Canadian passports for a two-year-old and a one-year-old child whose bodies were recovered. Police have also identified the 28-year-old victim as Christina (Monalissa) Zenaida Yordache.

Police believe the tragedy may have occurred during bad weather on Wednesday night and are looking for a missing person of interest. His boat was found near the area where the victims were found.

Deputy Chief Leigh-Ann O’Brien said Friday that the victims appeared to be from two families, one Indian and one Romanian, who were trying to enter the United States illegally.

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed last week to stop asylum seekers crossing the unofficial border into Canada.

Akwesasne police said the agreement, which closes all unofficial borders, including Roxham Road in Quebec, should not have been implemented here because the families were trying to go to the United States, not Canada.

Last year, an Indian family of four froze in the Canadian province of Manitoba as they tried to cross to the United States.

The Akwesasne Reserve stretches across both sides of the St. Lawrence River, with land in Ontario and Quebec on the Canadian side and New York.

(Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Franklin Paul)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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