The father of one of the Port Alberni teens at the centre of a nationwide manhunt is urging his son to return home.
“I’m sitting at home worrying about my son,” Keith McLeod said in a written statement Wednesday, adding that his Port Alberni home has become a focal point of media attention since RCMP announced that 19-year-old Kam McLeod and his friend, 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, are suspects in three deaths last week.
McLeod said he has little information about what has transpired since Friday, when two young tourists were found dead near Liard Hot Springs in northern B.C.
Initially, McLeod and Schmegelsky were reported missing, after their red and grey truck was found burned near Dease Lake on July 19, not far from where an unidentified man was found dead at a highway pullout.
Police said at the time the two were believed to be heading to the Yukon to look for work, and did not appear to be connected to the tourists’ deaths.
Spoke to Keith McLeod, father of Kam McLeod, very briefly. He said things have calmed down around their Port Alberni home after yesterday's twist in the police investigation of 3 deaths in northern B.C. that named his son and Bryer Schmegelsky as suspects. His statement: pic.twitter.com/JB4J9L6kDi
— Ashley Wadhwani (@ashwadhwani) July 24, 2019
On Tuesday, police instead announced the young men were in fact suspects in the deaths of Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, of North Carolina, and Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23, of Australia.
McLeod and Schmegelsky were last spotted in northern Manitoba on Monday night, after first being seen in Meadow Lake, Sask., on Sunday. Police believe they could have changed their appearances, and are urging the public to use caution if they spot the young men, described as six-foot-four inches tall and each weighing around 169 pounds.
BC RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said Tuesday that police have been in contact with both boys’ families to ask for help finding them.
No one answered a phone number listed on Schmegelsky’s father’s Facebook page, and a person who answered the phone at a McLeod residence in Port Alberni hung up.
A woman who answered the phone at a home listed under Schmegelsky in Wynyard, Sask., declined to comment.
“I have nothing to say at this time. Can’t you just please leave us alone?” she said through tears before hanging up.
McLeod said he knows one thing for sure.
“Kam is a kind, considerate, caring young man always has been concerned about other people’s feelings,” he said.
“As we are trapped in our homes due to media people, we try to wrap our heads around what is happening and hope that Kam will come to us safely so we can all get to the bottom of this story.”
Anyone who spots either of the young men should not approach them and call 911.
With a file from The Canadian Press