The sheriff’s department in Noyes, Minn., says a 57-year-old woman who was believed to originally be from the African country of Ghana has died of hypothermia as she was heading to cross the border into Canada.
Mavis Otuteye was first reported missing Thursday after she was last sighted in Kittson County on May 22.
Her body was found near Noyes on Friday and an initial autopsy concluded the cause of death was possible hypothermia, though a final autopsy is still pending.
Noyes is about 14 kilometres from Emerson, Man., one of the major sites of illegal border crossings into Canada.
There has been a spike in asylum seekers since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, with the most recent RCMP figures showing 859 people were stopped between official border points in April.
For the year so far, there have been 1,993 interceptions in Quebec, 477 in Manitoba and 233 in British Columbia.
Otuteye’s case is currently under investigation by the Kittson County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.