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.


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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