Gillam, Man., seek answers after massive search for B.C. suspects ends

Residents wonder whether fugitives meant to come to Gillam or if they just took a wrong turn

RCMP search an area near Gillam, Man. in this photo posted to their Twitter page on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Twitter, Manitoba RCMP

The deputy mayor of a northern Manitoba community at the centre of a massive manhunt says it will be a long time before things return to normal.

John McDonald says there were a lot of questions but not a lot of answers for people in Gillam during a town meeting Wednesday night, after RCMP announced they believed they had found the bodies of two murder suspects from B.C.

Autopsies are being performed in Winnipeg today to confirm the remains located near the Nelson River are of 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky.

The men were suspects in the killings of a Vancouver man and an American woman and her Australian boyfriend travelling in northern B.C.

RELATED: Motive will be ‘extremely difficult’ to determine in northern B.C. deaths, RCMP say

McDonald says people may never know whether the fugitives had planned to come to the dense and unforgiving landscape of northern Manitoba, or if they just took a wrong turn.

He adds that it will be a long time before people in the town feel fully relaxed and their quiet lives return.

The Canadian Press

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