Police are confident that bodies found are the Canada manhunt suspects, but questions remain
Police strongly believe that bodies recovered on a riverbank near Gillam, Manitoba are the two suspects wanted in the nation-manhunt. This latest discovery in the lengthy investigation came through a search by RCMP divers after a discarded boat and several items linked to the suspects were discovered along the shoreline of the Nelson River.
B.C. RCMP Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett has said that the autopsies to confirm the identity of the bodies and cause of death will take place Thursday, reports CTV News.
19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky were charged with second-degree murder for the death of Leonard Dyck which triggered a nation-wide manhunt roughly two weeks ago.
They were also the primary suspects in relation to the deaths of two tourists, Australian Lucas Fowler and his girlfriend, American Chynna Deese.
According to Global News, the RCMP announced Wednesday that “they believe two bodies found near the Nelson River in the province’s north belong to the suspects.”
In a small act of gratitude, RCMP Manitoba has even thanked the public on Twitter for their tips and vigilance during the manhunt, suggesting the search is likely over. Either way, we will know for sure soon.
However, while it looks like this case is wrapping up, the RCMP say that many questions remain regarding the motives of the two suspects.
“I’d like to stress that our investigative efforts have not concluded yet,” Hackett said. “We still need to ensure that our investigative findings … continues to confirm our investigative theory and eliminates any other possibilities or suspects.”
“Following this discovery, we were at last able to narrow down the search. We immediately sent in specialized RCMP teams to begin searching nearby high probability areas,” Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said at a press conference.
“Here in Manitoba,” she continued, “we have forensic identification specialists who are on the scene and will be going over it very carefully to collect whatever evidence they can that would be of help in that homicide investigation. And the bodies we found will be sent to Winnipeg for autopsy where we can officially confirm identity and cause of death.”
“Regarding the motive,” Hackett continued, “it is going to be extremely difficult for us to ascertain definitively what the motive was. Obviously, we will not have the opportunity to speak with these individuals
“And again, the examination of the area where they were located today is still being dealt with and searched, so there may be additional items that could help in that regard —identifying a motive, et cetera, but we don’t have that information yet,” he said.
“This is early days for the recovery of the two suspects,” he continued. “We want to bring back all of the information and all of the evidence that we have—our investigators will go through that meticulously—and we will be in a better position perhaps in the future, in the near future to talk about all of the linkages, perhaps, that existed.”
The RCMP has given an update on the search in the Gillam, Manitoba area for two British Columbian murder suspects.
Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam MacLeod have sent Canadian law enforcement on a trying chase through rough terrain for weeks now. On Wednesday, the RCMP gave more details about the current status of the manhunt, as many wondered if the trail has gone cold.
The last information made public was that the RCMP had deployed an underwater diving team to search a northern Manitoba river following a lead that came in the Friday prior.
According to the RCMP, helicopter operators discovered a damaged aluminum boat while looking for the two manhunt suspects in the thick woodland area surrounding Gillam, Manitoba. The boat was located on the shore of the Nelson River.
That development came after a dismal week in the investigation that saw all efforts turn out fruitless and the number of officers on the case reduced. Now, RCMP has now announced a breakthrough.
After specialized RCMP searched high probability areas, at 10 am this morning, RCMP officers located two male bodies one kilometre from where the items were found. At this time, RCMP believe that these are the bodies of the two murder suspects.
The RCMP deployed an underwater diving team to search a northern Manitoba river following a new lead that came Friday.
According to the RCMP, helicopter operators discovered a damaged aluminum boat while looking for the two manhunt suspects, Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, in the thick woodland area surrounding Gillam, Manitoba. The boat was located on the shore of the Nelson River, reports CBC.
Five members of the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team are now conducting a thorough search of the area.
Additionally, several items directly linking the suspects have been found on the shoreline of the Nelson River, according to RCMP Manitoba.
This latest development comes after a dismal week in the ongoing investigation that saw all efforts turn out fruitless and the number of officers on the case reduced. That was on day eight and nine of the manhunt, and we are now on day thirteen of the RCMP combing through the rugged terrain of northern Manitoba.
“At the height of the pursuit, officers used aerial surveillance, drones and police dogs and canvassed every home and abandoned building, but no sightings of the fugitives have been confirmed since a burned-out Toyota RAV4 was found near Sundance Creek, northeast of Gillam, Man, on July 21. It is believed the pair were driving the vehicle,” reports CBC’s Ian Froese.
“In searching for people in vast, remote and rugged locations, it’s always a possibility that they’re not going to be immediately located,” says RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy.
Spikes in tips related to the B.C. murder suspects have flooded the Ontario Provincial Police, suggesting—but not yet confirming—that the two young men may have migrated from Manitoba to Ontario, reports the CBC.
“Police said Friday the reports have come in from across the province, and investigators cannot confirm at this time whether any of the sightings are, in fact, of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and 19-year-old Kam McLeod,” writes The Canadian Press’s Paola Loriggio.
However, many tips over the past weeks have gone unconfirmed and police are worried that intentionally spreading misinformation on social media may be a factor.
“We are aware of misinformation related to the murder suspects via social media and ask the public to refrain from spreading rumours,” say Greater Sudbury Police.
“Any confirmed sightings will be shared through GSPS social media sites. We urge the community to rely on the GSPS social media/website as their trusted source of info. Should any sighting be confirmed, we will issue a community notification immediately.”
Due to the sudden influx of new tips, the OPP has assembled an investigative team with the hopes some may lead to more substantial evidence and the long-awaited arrest of Schmegelsky and McLeod.
According to Staff Sgt. Carolle Dionne, more than 30 tips were sent to the OPP in an 8-hour period last Thursday.
“The more information [there is], it makes it easier for us to follow up on … We can’t dismiss it either if it’s vague or doesn’t have enough content but it may take us longer to filter through and try to figure out was there any merit into this tip,” says Dionne.
“We really don’t want to discourage people from continuing to report because it could be that one tip that might be legitimate, that might be a true sighting.”
She went on to say that the ongoing investigation and public nature of the case has riled up the public who may be worried that “they could show up in my backyard,” and caused them to be significantly more vigilant.
The two suspects have been on the road for a prolonged period. It’s likely they’re very desperate and possibly armed. The two have been charged with the murder of Leonard Dyck and are the primary suspects in the double homicide that ended the lives of Australian Lucas Fowler and American Chynna Deese.
Police are still asking for any tips which may lead to their arrests.
Update: Sarnia police have located the boy.
Sarnia Police are asking for the public’s assistance finding a missing person.
Noah Dube, 14, was last seen with friends in the Overlea Crescent, Wellington Street and Cardiff Drive area.
He is described as being 6′ tall (1.82m), having brown eyes and short brown hair.
Police ask that you call 519-344-8861 if you have any information that could aid in finding him.