RCMP search the area near Gillam, Man. in this photo posted to their Twitter page on Friday, July 26, 2019. Officers are in the Gillam area to search for 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and his 19-year-old friend Kam McLeod. The teens are charged with second-degree murder in the death of one man and are suspects in the fatal shootings of a young couple.(Manitoba RCMP/Twitter)

Search for B.C. fugitives stretches into sixth day as RCMP, army scour northern Manitoba

Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod are wanted for three homicides in northern B.C.

Authorities are continuing to scour northern Manitoba for two men accused of killing three people in northern B.C. earlier this month, nearly a week after the two were declared suspects.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, have been on the run from authorities since at least Tuesday, when B.C. RCMP said the two were suspects in the double homicide of tourists Lucas Fowler, 23, and Chynna Deese, 24, and the death of University of B.C. lecturer Leonard Dyck.

Manitoba RCMP say they’ve received more than 200 tips and continue to search “cottages, cabins, waterways and along the rail line for any signs of the suspects.”

READ MORE: ‘Struggling to understand’: Family, UBC pay tribute to lecturer killed in northern B.C.

READ MORE: Polar bears, sandflies: BC fugitives may be going on 5 days in Manitoba wilderness

McLeod and Schmegelsky were each charged with second-degree murder in Dyck’s death Wednesday, and since then appear to have fled eastwards. Dyck’s body was found on July 19, just two kilometres away from where McLeod and Schemegelsky’s burned truck was found abandoned south of Dease Lake.

The bodies of Fowler and Deese were found on July 15. McLeod and Schemegelsky have not been charged in their deaths but remain the only suspects.

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky remain on the run from police after being declared suspects in three homicides in northern B.C. (RCMP)

The search for the two fugitives, originally from Port Alberni, has taken Mounties to Saskatchewan and now to Manitoba, where police confirmed they have been seen, and a stolen SUV associated to McLeod and Schemegelsky has been dumped.

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

But despite a Canada-wide manhunt that has seen the military pulled in to help, RCMP appear to have had no sightings of the fugitives in days. Police have confirmed three sightings of the due since they went on the lam; once caught on security camera footage in northern Saskatchewan on July 21, and two sightings in northern Manitoba July 22.

READ MORE: RCMP getting air support from military in hunt for McLeod, Schmegelsky

READ MORE: RCMP search abandoned homes, work camps for B.C. murder suspects in Gillam, Man.

A Toyota Rav 4 said to have been stolen by McLeod and Schemegelsky was found burned on First Nations land near Gillam in northern Manitoba Monday, which has become the site of an all-hands-on-deck manhunt.

READ MORE: SUV stolen by suspects in B.C. deaths found torched in Manitoba

There have been no confirmed sightings of the two men since they were declared suspects. Reports of two men being arrested by police near Winnipeg Sunday turned out to be a false alarm, as did a suspected sighting in Saskatchewan Wednesday.

A photo circulating on social media of a man who looked like McLeod holding up a newspaper with the fugitives’ faces on it was not one of the suspects, RCMP confirmed.

But although accounts from locals speak to a massive military and RCMP presence searching both lived-in and abandoned homes, as well as nearby work camps and the forests around Gillam, RCMP said Friday they believe someone may have “inadvertently” helped the fugitives leave the area.

Police did not disclose any further information about how they might have escaped, but Gillam is a small community in the far northern regions of Manitoba and accessible by only one road and one train.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Castlegar march ensures missing, murdered aboriginal women not forgotten

About 60 people took part in the Valentine’s day memorial

PLACE NAMES: West Kootenay(s)

To some locals, “West Kootenays” (as opposed to West Kootenay) is like nails on a chalkboard

Midway mill shutdown expected to last 8 to 10 weeks

Vaagen Fibre Canada cites low inventory, road restrictions as reason for shut down

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

PHOTOS: Trans Mountain hosts mock oil spill response practice in Kamloops

Practice comes after an excavator accidentally struck the pipeline near Jacko Lake in mid-February

Federal Indigenous services minister meets First Nation at rail blockade

Blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk territory near Belleville, Ont., is in its 10th day

Canada’s flag was flown for first time 55 years ago today

The flag is used to celebrate wins in sports, honour Canada Day, and flown at half-mast after tragedy

Most Read