Manitoba RCMP believe the bodies of two B.C. fugitives on the run for more than two weeks have been found on the shoreline of the Nelson River.
At a Wednesday news conference, police said they believe Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky’s bodies were found near the shoreline of the Nelson River around 10 a.m., about eight kilometres from a torched SUV that was dumped by the suspects near Gillam on July 22.
Assistant Comm. Jane MacLatchy said the items found Friday that were “directly linked” to the two fugitives helped lead police to the bodies.
“We immediately sent in specialized RCMP teams to begin searching nearby high-probability areas,” MacLatchy said.
She said Mounties found the two male bodies in “dense brush” about one kilometre away from where the items were found. An autopsy in Winnipeg is scheduled to confirm their identities.
“I’m confident it is them,” said MacLatchy.
“It’s huge to hopefully give some people an opportunity to exhale and hopefully, eventually go back to normal and not be afraid of who’s out in the woods anymore.”
The two Port Alberni men had been on the run from police since at least July 23, when they were declared suspects in the death of UBC professor Leonard Dyck and the double homicide of Lucas Fowler, 23, and Chynna Deese, 24.
McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, had since been charged with second-degree murder for the death of Dyck, whose body was found south of Dease Lake on July 19. The two men’s torched truck was found nearby.
Charges have not been laid in the double homicide of Fowler and Deese, two tourists found near Liard Hot Springs on July 15.
B.C. Prosecution Service spokesperson Dan McLaughlin said when RCMP confirm the two bodies are indeed McLeod and Schemegelsky, the second degree-murder charges will be “abated.”
“This will end the prosecution and the involvement of the BCPS,” he said.
McLeod and Schmegelsky have taken police across the country on a wild manhunt over the past two weeks. While the only confirmed sightings were in Meadow Lake, Sask., Split Lake, Man., and Gillam, Man., would-be witnesses called in reports from Ontario and other parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
In Port Alberni, a sign posted at the Schmegelsky home asked for the family to be left alone, while the McLeod home had multiple “no trespassing” signs up.
Here is the McLeod residence near Port Alberni.— Kat Slepian (@katslepian) August 7, 2019
Our @AlberniNews editor @JournoSusie found several "no trespassing" signs up on the property.
STORY: https://t.co/kuqdNxtaFe@BlackPressMedia #canadamanhunt #MANITOBAMANHUNT pic.twitter.com/jAPnaNXTfU