This story has been updated with new information regarding the belongings of Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.
Police say that they discovered several belongings of the two murder suspects, who have thus far thwarted police capture, on the bank of a Manitoba river.
Authorities "located several items on the shoreline" of the Nelson River on August, Manitoba RCMP said in a Facebook post posted on Tuesday afternoon. The items were near a damaged aluminum boat found 9 kilometers from where Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, burning truck was found.
"RCMP have confirmed that these items are directly linked to the suspects. That same day, a damaged boat was also found along the Nelson River," reads the post. "Based on this information, RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) were immediately deployed."
"On August 4, 2019, URT conducted a thorough underwater search approximately 29 metres around the location where the boat was found. The search did not uncover any additional items linked to the suspects."
Police added they are not releasing information of what the items discovered were as to "ensure the integrity of the investigation."
McLeod and Schmegelsky are wanted in connection to three deaths that took place in less than a week in mid-July. On July 15, police found the bodies of Australian Lucas Fowler, 23, and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, in a ditch on the Alaskan highway. The two had been shot and were left alongside their belongings and broken down van they were planning to travel across Canadian national parks in.
Then, on the 19th, police found the truck McLeod and Schmegelsky were travelling in on fire and this discovery led them to find the body of Leonard Dyck, a retired botanist and university lecturer, two kilometres away. Police have not released the cause of Dyck’s of death but did charge the duo with his murder.
Coverage of the deaths, the two suspects subsequent run, and the massive manhunt has been international and, at times, strange. The two were pulled over just one day before the police announced they were wanted in connection to the deaths. A promising tip that the two were spotted scrounging a dump in a nearby community led nowhere. At one point, police live streamed a press conference on the death of Fowler and Deese with a cat filter on. For two weeks, police pumped nearly unlimited resources into northern Manitoba as the search went on but at the end of July announced they are scaling back the search.
While little is known about McLeod, information about Schmegelsky has slowly come out as the teens time on the lam grows. The portrait painted of the 18-year-old is a dark yet familiar one. Coming from a troubled home, the young man showed a fascination with far-right iconography and ideology, owning a Hitler Youth knife and Nazi armband. Some of the teen's other online accounts also showed a connection to the far-right. Acquaintances of the two told the Globe and Mail, that while they’re shocked McLeod may be involved in such a crime, they aren’t surprised Schmegelsky is.
Many believe the two have taken refuge in the bush of northern Manitoba. If true, the two picked one of the worst areas in Canada to attempt such a feat. The brush is thick and boggy with limited resources. The terrain is difficult with muskegs that can break ankles and swarms of biting insects. Rivers punctuate the landscape and the discovery of the boat was the first time transportation via waterways was discussed during the manhunt.
Police have been receiving a large amount of tips on the location of the two. One video posted to social media shows how seriously authorities are taking the search and the huge number of tips they’re receiving. As Dakota Shepherd and Jade Primeau were driving on Wednesday in Saskatchewan, police, with guns drawn, pulled the couple over and ordered them out. RCMP confirmed to CBC that they had received a tip that the two suspects had just used a nearby gas station and this is what led to the arrest.
The video shows the couple being ordered by to put their hands up, open up their car door, and get out. While the situation was tense, it ended on a light note with Shepherd recording a vlog as police pulled away.
The search for the two suspects continues. Police believe the two are armed and dangerous.
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