Authorities work to identify eight bodies pulled from St. Lawrence River this week

Death investigation ongoing

Akwesasne Mohawk Police say they are working with Immigration Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to confirm the identities of the eight migrants whose bodies were pulled from the St. Lawrence River this week.

On Thursday, police discovered the bodies of five adults and one child in a marshy area, and recovered the body of a second child and an adult woman on Friday.

One of the children was a Canadian citizen, and the victims are believed to be of Romanian and Indian descent.

Police have not made any direct connections between the deaths of the eight migrants and a missing 30-year-old Akwesasne resident, Casey Oakes, who was last seen Wednesday night operating a boat that was found Thursday next to the bodies of the migrants.

Akwesasne straddles the Canada-U.S. border, with parts of the territory in Ontario, Quebec and New York state.

Authorities say the territory's unique geography makes it a popular spot for human smugglers, with police making 48 separate interceptions involving 80 people trying to enter the United States illegally since January.

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