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

Law enforcement will patrol shuttered campgrounds in Cascades this weekend

Patrols will enforce provincial order requiring all such facilities remain closed during COVID-19

Campfires still permitted in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Restrictions have been implemented elsewhere within valley

Opinion: Thank you, together we can get through

Thanks for staying at home as much as possible, thinking of others as we combat this terrible virus

West Kelowna man charged in relation to cannabis grow robbery in Sicamous

Two suspects remain at large; police believe they left the robbery scene in a white hatchback

LEGO – it’s not just for children anymore

All in all it’s just another brick in the wall

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Unemployment up, Kelowna loses 2,000 jobs in March: StatCan

March unemployment rate 5.9 per cent, highest in Kelowna since January 2018

Peachland residents living in lockdown in central Philippines

Kevin and Gracelyn Bennett have been in the Philippines since December

Kelowna toddler officially cancer-free

Elara Isagawa’s family is thanking the community for their support throughout her treatment

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Summerland parks remain open for passive use

Users urged to maintain physical distancing to slow spread of COVID-19

Okanagan Indian Band asks visitors to ‘stay away’ during COVID-19

Chief and council asks non-residents not to visit OKIB reserve lands during the pandemic

Would-be visitors to Shuswap over the long weekend asked to stay home

Regional district follows provincial health officer’s lead in telling citizens to stay put this Easter

Most Read