Manitoba RCMP say they now have two “established and corroborated” sightings of B.C. homicide suspects Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky in the Gillam area.
Both sightings occurred before a charred SUV driven by the two suspects was found in the region, Cpl. Julie Courchaine said in a press briefing Thursday.
McLeod and Schmegelsky are the subjects of a nation-wide manhunt for three killings in northern B.C.
The fugitives have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of University of B.C. lecturer Leonard Dyck. Dyck’s body was found south of Dease Lake on July 19, two kilometres away from a burned truck dumped just off Highway 37.
McLeod and Schmegelsky are also suspects, but have not been charged, in the double homicide of Lucas Fowler, 23, and Chynna Deese, 24.
The bodies of the two tourists were found south of Liard Hot Springs on July 15.
Courchaine said RCMP believe the two fugitives are still in the Gillam area. She acknowledged the “challenging, vast, dense” terrain in the region has made searching for the duo difficult.
McLeod and Schmegelsky are believed to be on foot as there have been no stolen vehicles in the area that could be linked to them.
Gillam locals have reported seeing a heightened police presence and heavily-armoured Emergency Response Team cars rolling in, and hearing that police may start searching homes and garages in town.
Just Rolled out an Armoured SWAT Vehicle in Gillam
— Mike Lawrenchuk (@LawrenchukMike) July 25, 2019
“I don’t know how useful that will be in the bush,” Mike Lawrenchuk tweeted.
Locals wondered if the suspects were hiding out in nearby work camps for Manitoba Hydro.
“It’s a pretty harsh area to hide in the bush if you didn’t know anything about the wilderness,” Lawrenchuk said.