Authorities are searching for two missing teens after their vehicle was found burning near a Canadian highway, not far from where a man’s dead body was discovered — the latest in a series of unnerving incidents in northern British Columbia.
The Dease Lake Royal Canadian Mounted Police discovered the vehicle fire on Highway 37, on Friday, July 19. However, the drivers of the vehicle, 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, have now been reported missing, according to a statement from authorities.
As police were responding to the fire, a motorist driving by reported that he spotted what he thought was a man’s body just over a mile away from the fire. Authorities searched and discovered a dead male, according to The Vancouver Sun.
The body does not belong to either McLeod or Schmegelsky, and authorities are still working to determine the man’s identity and whether he may be connected to the vehicle fire or missing teens.
The suspicious fire occurred just four days after investigators found the bodies of Chynna Deese, 24, and Lucas Fowler, 23, shot to death outside of Liard Hot Springs, an area about 292 miles away from the vehicle fire. Authorities said the bodies were found under “suspicious circumstances.”
The RMCP acknowledged “growing concerns about the ongoing homicide investigations in northern BC” and encouraged anyone with information about either investigation to contact authorities.
“The RCMP would ask the public to continue to take any general safety precautions and remain vigilant at this time,” they wrote in the statement. “We also remind travelers to share your plans with family and friends, establish check-in times and notify someone if your plans change.”
Authorities said McLeod and Schmegelsky had been planning to visit Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory to look for work, but it’s not clear why they returned to British Columbia. Although they had had regular contact with their families during their travels, investigators became concerned after discovering the burning vehicle and learning from the family that they had not heard from the teens in several days.
“Kam and Bryer have periodically connected with family and friends over the past week and it is possible that they are now in an area without cell coverage,” said Dawn Roberts, of BC RCMP Communications. “However, we have found their vehicle and have not been able to locate either of them at this time. We are asking for Kam or Bryer to connect with police right away and let us know you are okay.”
The pair were last seen July 18 around 3:15 p.m. traveling south from a Super A general store in Dease Lake in a red and gray Dodge pickup truck with a sleeping camper and BC License plate LW6433.
Anyone with any information about where the teens may have headed after that last sighting is urged to contact authorities. McLeod is described as 6’4” weighing approximately 169 pounds. He has dark brown hair, brown eyes, and facial hair. Schmegelsky is also described as 6’4” and weighing 169 pounds. He has sandy brown hair.
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