Dozens of tips that two teen murder suspects are now in Ontario are not credible, police say.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) followed up one report of a sighting of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, but found two, seemingly innocent, tree planters instead.
Reports that McLeod and Schmegelsky were spotted in Kapuskasing, 2,000 kilometres from Gillam, Man., in a white Ford Focus were also not credible.
Authorities are urging people not to post their tips on social media, which can cause alarm, but to call 9-1-1 instead.
“We’ve had numerous calls in the last week,” said Acting Sgt. Shona Camirand, with the Ontario Provincial Police North East Region in North Bay. “Today, we had one in Sudbury and we had one in Kap, so they can’t be in both places.”
The suspects are charged with the murder of a Canadian man and also thought to be responsible for the brutal murders of Australian man Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese nearly three weeks ago.
The two men have managed to evade a police manhunt involving dozens of officers, dogs, and drones with infra-red cameras and imaging radar.
The latest tip to police comes as the theory that the two men were killed by wildlife while on the run in the Canadian woods grows stronger with each passing day.
The OPP told local media that they were investigating a sighting of two “suspicious men” that the complainant believed to be the murder suspects.
However officers have been quick to remind the public that they have not been able to substantiate the tip, or locate the vehicle.
“There have been no confirmed sightings in Ontario,” Sgt. Shona Camirand told Global News.
Survival experts and Gillam locals said if the teenagers attempted to hide in the wilderness and did not have the appropriate gear or shelter for the swampy sub-Antarctic boreal forest, they would likely die from blood-sucking insects, tainted water, starvation, bears and other predators.
RCMP search teams had dogs attempting to find their scent but MacLatchy said she was not sure if the dogs were trained to find dead bodies.
"It's just a very tough place to find somebody who doesn't want to be found," MacLatchy said.
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