Sheriff: Woman From Ghana Died Likely Trying To Reach Canada

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials in extreme northwestern Minnesota say a woman from Ghana died last week while likely trying to walk across the border into Canada.

The Kittson County Sheriff’s Office says the body of 57-year-old Mavis Otuteye was found Friday near Noyes. Otuteye was reported missing in the area earlier last week.

The sheriff’s office says Otuteye likely died of hypothermia. Temperatures in the area Friday dipped down into the low 40s.

However, the final autopsy report is still pending.

Officials say they believe Otuteye was trying to cross the border to Canada at the time of her death. The Brainerd Dispatch reports that the woman had been living in Delaware and was trying to reunite with her daughter in Canada.

Noyes, a small community in extreme northwestern Minnesota, is just across the border from Emerson, Manitoba.

Earlier this year, Canadian officials reported a sharp increase in border crossings in Emerson following the announcement of President Donald Trump’s plans to limit immigration and set up deportations.

If someone is able to make it to Canadian soil, they are allowed to stay and go through the refugee-claim process.

Otuteye’s death is being investigated by Kittson County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

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