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

Body of 21-year-old man found in Okanagan Lake

BC Coroners Service is investigating the circumstances of the man’s death

Morning Start: Tomato juice won’t fix getting skunked

Your morning start for Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

Crankworx comes to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

The event normally takes place at Whistler, but has taken to the road in light of COVID-19

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

West Kelowna wildfire ‘under control’

B.C. Wildfire anticipates no further growth from the three-hectare fire

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

Young Canadians, hospitality workers bear the brunt of mental strain in 2020: report

A study by Morneau Shepell points to economic uncertainty in the pandemic as the cause for angst

Dry Lake wildfire now classified as held

Wildfire was burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

Health Canada recalling more than 50 hand sanitizers in evolving list

Organization says to stop using products listed, and to consult a health-care professional

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen pays nearly $8 million in wages

Figures included in latest Statement of Financial Information

Democracy costs Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen more than $500,000

Remuneration and expenses paid to chair, directors and alternate directors comes to $542,588

Most Read