A 57-year-old woman said to be a Ghanaian died near the Manitoba border after trying to cross the border from United States of America (U.S.A) to Canada on foot.
According to the Kittson County Sheriff’s office, a preliminary autopsy indicated that the victim identified as Mavis Otuteye died from hypothermia.
The body was found on Friday near Noyes which is right across from the Canadian border town of Emerson where asylum seekers had been crossing in recent months.
A statement from the sheriff’s office indicates that the U.S. border patrol together with the county sheriff had been searching for a missing woman after a call the previous day. The Police have withheld the identity of the caller.
Recently, Canada has experienced an increase in refugee claims with over 2,000 people illegally coming across the U.S. border since the beginning of this year.
Most of those who cross the border are legal inhabitants of the United States but have left because of their fear for President Donald Trump’s immigration stance.
A member of the Ghanaian Union of Manitoba, Frank Indome said, they are concerned that there could be other bodies in the border region.
“It’s likely bodies may be found somewhere in the bushes somewhere. People are taking undue risks just to get to a safe haven,” he mentioned.
Even though those who cross borders do so with the aim of getting access to laws that allow them a hearing in Canada if they are regarded as refugees, Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale has said that the illegal crossings aren’t a “free ticket” into Canada adding that they still go through systems and procedures such as health checks and security clearance.
CTV News reports that Friends of Mavis Otuteye mentioned her as a religious woman and had been living in Delaware. Her friends believe she may have been moving to Toronto to live with her daughter.