TORONTO (Reuters) - A body found near the Manitoba border was that of a Ghanaian woman who died of possible hypothermia trying to walk into Canada, U.S. police said on Tuesday.
The Kittson County Sheriff’s office said they discovered the woman’s body on Friday near Noyes, Minnesota which is directly across from the Canadian border town of Emerson where asylum seekers had been crossing in recent months.
The county sheriff, in concert with U.S. border patrol, had been searching for a missing woman following a call the previous day, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. A preliminary autopsy indicated hypothermia as cause of death.
Police declined to give any information about who reported the woman, identified as 57-year-old Mavis Otuteye, as missing.
“It is believed that Mavis was attempting to enter Canada at the time of her death,” police said in a statement.
Canada has seen a spike in refugee claims this year, with more than 2,000 people coming across the U.S. border illegally since January. Many have crossed over in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Quebec, walking across unmonitored fields or through ditches.
Most of those border crossers had been living legally in the United States but say they left because they feared President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown.
Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Michael Perry