Police say they believe they have found the bodies of the two suspects, Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, sought in connection to a spree of deaths in northern British Columbia.
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said in a press conference in Winnipeg that on Wednesday morning, police located two male bodies eight kilometres from where their burnt-out vehicle was found in northern Manitoba several weeks ago.
“We believe these are the two bodies of the suspects connected to the homicides in northern BC,” said MacLatchy.
Police did not release a cause of death and said the bodies need to go to autopsy.
MacLatchy said that the break in the case came when RCMP discovered a damaged aluminum boat off the shore of a northern Manitoba river. In the boat they found items connected to McLeod and Schmegelsky.
“Over the last two weeks our officers have worked tirelessly,” said MacLatchy. “While there were no confirmed sightings we never gave up.”
“We knew we needed to find that one piece of evidence to move this investigation forward.”
Police say that when they discovered the belongings they immediately sent in specialized RCMP agents and resources who found the bodies.
The two have been the subject of a massive nationwide manhunt for weeks now. They are wanted in connection to a spree of deaths that took place in northern British Columbia in mid-July. The news comes after the RCMP confirmed they discovered items belonging to the two in a damaged boat abandoned on the shoreline of a northern Manitoba river on Friday.
On July 15, the bodies of Australian Lucas Fowler, 23, and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, were found in a ditch just off the Alaskan highway. They had been shot to death. They were left with their belongings and broken down van. Less than a week later, also in northern BC, the teens’ truck was found on fire; this discovery led police to the body of Leonard Dyck being found less than two kilometres away. Police have not confirmed how Dyck died but charged both McLeod and Schmegelsky with one count of second-degree murder in connection to Dyck’s death.
According to RCMP, the two then traveled eastward, eventually ending up outside the small northern town of Gillam, Manitoba. Here, on the 22nd of July, police found the burned-out husk of the Toyota Rav 4 the two were traveling in.
For a number of days following the discovery of their truck, the duo were considered missing. However on July 23, the day after their Rav 4 was found, police announced they were suspects in the deaths. A massive manhunt for the two had been ongoing ever since.
Police buoyed the normally small population of Gillam, 1,200, with officers aiding in the search and shipped in K9 units, drones, and helicopters. Despite numerous tips, there was no sign of the teens for a significant period of time.
However, on August 2, two weeks after the teens' truck was found on fire, RCMP found a damaged aluminum boat on the shore of the Nelson River. Here they found their first confirmed link to the teens since their Rav 4 was discovered in Gillam.
"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 a Facebook post made by Manitoba RCMP on Monday. "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.”
At the time the RCMP said the divers found no other items connected to the teens and would not confirm what the items were as to "ensure the integrity of the investigation."
While little is known about McLeod, information about Schmegelsky's online life painted a dark but familiar picture. The 18-year-old was connected to several far-right internet accounts, including some that used nazi iconography and was known to have owned a Hitler Youth knife and a Nazi armband.
The motives of the killings are still unknown.
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