Sunday 18 August 2019

Two Canadian teen fugitives found dead 'took their own lives' - police

Found dead: Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky. Photo: Darryl Dyck
Found dead: Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky. Photo: Darryl Dyck

Rob Gillies

Canadian police have said they believe two teenage fugitives suspected of killing a woman and her boyfriend as well as another man took their own lives.

The Manitoba medical examiner completed post mortems and confirmed two bodies found last week in dense bush in northern Manitoba were 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky. A police statement said their deaths appeared to be suicide.

A manhunt for the pair had spread across three provinces and included the Canadian military. The suspects had not been seen since July 22.

McLeod and Schmegelsky were charged with second- degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer whose body was found on July 19 along a highway in British Columbia. They were also suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose bodies were found on July 15 along the Alaska Highway about 480km from where Mr Dyck was killed.

The bodies of the suspects were found near Gillam, Manitoba, more than 3,200km from northern British Columbia.

Police said McLeod and Schmegelsky were dead for a number of days before they were found, but said there were strong indications that they had been alive for a few days since last seen on July 22.

Police confirmed two guns were located and authorities are working to confirm the firearms are connected to the murders in British Columbia.

Critical evidence found last week when police found items directly linked to the suspects on the shoreline of the Nelson River helped locate the bodies, police said. Following that discovery, authorities were able to narrow down the search.

Police sent in specialised teams and began searching high-probability areas. On Wednesday morning, police located the two bodies within a kilometre from where the items were found and around 10km from where they left a burnt-out vehicle on July 22.

The separate discoveries of three bodies and burning cars shook rural northern British Columbia and Manitoba.

Schmegelsky's father, Alan Schmegelsky, said last month that his son was on "a suicide mission".

McLeod and Schmegelsky grew up together on Vancouver Island and worked together at a local Walmart before they set off together on what their parents thought was a trip to Yukon for work.

Irish Independent

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