Bodies of B.C. fugitives found in Manitoba: RCMP

Two male bodies, suspected to be those of Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, have been found near the shores of the Nelson River in Manitoba.

Provincial RCMP have confirmed that at 10:00 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning, officials located the bodies believed to be Schmegelsky and McLeod during a foot search of the area, approximately 8 km away from where the burnt vehicle was located last month, near Fox Lake Cree Nation.

RCMP Manitoba assistant commissioner Jane MacLatchy said items directly linked to the men were found on Friday Aug. 2.

An autopsy for both bodies is being scheduled in Winnipeg on Thursday to confirm their identities and cause of death.

“I am confident that it is them but to identify them officially...we have to go to autopsy,” MacLatchy said.

The two men from B.C. were suspects in the killings of Australian tourist Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend, Chynna Deese, and were charged with second-degree murder in the death of University of British Columbia lecturer Leonard Dyck. B.C. RCMP said there was “significant evidence” that links the suspects to both crime scenes, but there is no evidence that links the victims together.

Officers in the province have also said that they believe the bodies are in fact of the individuals they have been looking for in connection with these murders. Officials have also spoken to families of the victims and provided them with the latest updates.

“Our investigative efforts have not concluded yet,” B.C. RCMP assistant commissioner Kevin Hackett said.

Hackett identified that it will be “extremely difficult” to uncover the motive of these homicides as they will not be able to speak to these individuals, but the area is sill being searched and additional items could be discovered to assist with determining that factor. No additional suspects are being actively investigated at this time.

Earlier this week, RCMP in Manitoba said they had found several items on a shoreline in the northern part of the province that are directly linked to the homicide suspects.

Police said on Aug. 3 authorities located the items about 9 km away from where a burnt-out vehicle used by the fugitives was found in July.

“That same day, a damaged boat was also found along the Nelson River,” a Facebook post reads.

Based on that information, the RCMP dispatched an underwater recovery team which searched 29 metres around the location.

Officials had received a “credible” tip last month that the two men were spotted at a garbage dump in the Gillam, Man. community.

The group that reported this sighting was the Bear Clan Patrol, a group of over 1,500 volunteers in Winnipeg who travelled to remote communities in Manitoba to help search for Schmegelsky and McLeod.

According to Global News, the two men were stopped at a routine alcohol check in the dry community of Tataskweyak Cree Nation in Manitoba, near Split Lake. The band constables did not find anything and were allowed to continue their drive.

“We weren’t aware of their status, of them being wanted,” Nataskweyak Cree Nation, Coun. Nathan Neckoway told Global News. “Apparently after they came to our community, that’s when they sent out that wanted [status].”

CBC News also discovered that a former Sudbury, Ont., man now living in Alberta, Tommy Ste-Croix of Cold, helped the two men get their vehicle out of mud just a couple of days before the nation-wide manhunt began.

"I couldn't believe it. My jaw dropped," Ste-Croix told CBC News.

Alan Schmegelsky, the father of one of the men, has written a 132-page book titled “Red Flagged” that reveals his personal mental health issues, harassment convictions involving his ex-wife and the impacts these events had on his son Bryer.

“My son and I have been treated like footballs. It’s time for some truth,” he told The Canadian Press.

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