Security camera images of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are displayed during a news conference in Surrey, British Columbia, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Ontario police investigate possible sightings of northern B.C. murder suspects

Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod remain at large after being named murder suspects on July 23

Ontario Provincial Police have assigned a team of investigators to look into a spike in tips regarding two young men wanted in multiple murders in British Columbia.

Police said Friday the reports have come in from across the province, and investigators cannot confirm at this time whether any of the sightings are, in fact, of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and 19-year-old Kam McLeod.

A few possible sightings were reported in Ontario at a time when the hunt for the suspects was focused in Manitoba, and those were dealt with by local detachments, said Staff Sgt. Carolle Dionne.

But reports have been pouring in over recent days, with more than 30 coming in over eight hours Thursday, she said. As a result, a team was created to investigate the tips in a centralized manner, including revisiting earlier reports, she said.

While some reported sightings are quickly debunked, it’s important that people send in their information, Dionne said.

“The more information (there is), it makes it easier for us to follow up on … We can’t dismiss it either if it’s vague or doesn’t have enough content but it may take us longer to filter through and try to figure out was there any merit into this tip,” she said.

“We really don’t want to discourage people from continuing to report because it could be that one tip that might be legitimate, that might be a true sighting.”

The fact that so many people are flagging possible sightings shows the case has captured public attention, she said.

“It’s telling us that people are listening to the news and people are being extra vigilant … And there’s that heightened sense of, ‘hey, we don’t know where they are, we don’t know where they may be, they could show up in my backyard.’”

Provincial police are working with the RCMP as they probe incoming reports, Dionne said.

READ MORE: Father of suspect in 3 B.C. deaths expects son will go out in ‘blaze of glory’

A manhunt spanning several provinces began last week after Schmegelsky and McLeod were named as suspects in three killings.

Vancouver researcher Leonard Dyck and Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese were found dead last month in northern B.C.

Ontario Provincial Police warn the two suspects are considered dangerous and should not be approached.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Manitoba Manhunt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First Energy Metals set to start gold exploration work in the West Kootenay

The work will be conducted at two of its sites near Nakusp and Nelson

Nelson skateboarders charged with assaulting Trail police officer

Incident happened at the skate park in Trail

RDCK closes all indoor recreational facilities until at least August 18

The district said closures are necessary to meet financial plan and to deliver safe programming

Flooding: Why the RDCK ordered hundreds of properties evacuated

All evacuation orders have now been rescinded

Broadwater Road residents allowed to return home after evacuation order

Area near Castlegar evacuated due to flooding risk

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read