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'The Search Is Over,' As Police Say They've Found Bodies Of Teen Murder Suspects Near Manitoba River
Bryer Schmegelsky’s father predicted that the manhunt would end in his son's death, and said, after the discovery of the body, that he was sorry he couldn't rescue him.
A manhunt for two teenagers wanted in connection with three murders that rocked rural Canada has come to a close.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced on Wednesday that the discovery of two bodies near a Manitoba river are believed to be those of Kam McLeod, 19 and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18 — the teenagers accused of a July killing spree, and who have evaded law enforcement for nearly a month.
“The search is over,” RCMP Manitoba tweeted on Wednesday. “At 10 a.m. this morning, Manitoba RCMP officers located the bodies of two males, believed to be the BC suspects, near the shoreline of the Nelson River (approx 8km from the burnt vehicle).”
The accused teen killers were wanted on countrywide warrants for the murders of American woman Chynna Deese and her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, a 23-year-old Australian, whose bodies were found outside a remote community in northwest British Columbia on July 15.
Four days later, authorities discovered the body of 64-year-old Vancouver resident Leonard Dyck on the side of the highway, roughly 290 miles away. Police believe he, too, was slain by the teenagers. McLeod and Schmegelsky’s camper, which had been set on fire, was discovered nearby.
The last known sighting of the pair was on July 22 near Gilam, Manitoba, a town of roughly 1,000 people in the province’s northeast. Authorities found the charred remains of a Toyota RAV4, which the teens were last spotted driving, and which allegedly belonged to Dyck, near the isolated Manitoba town, according to The Guardian.
“At this time, we are confident that these are the bodies of the two suspects wanted in connection with the homicides in British Columbia,” the RCMP said in a press release.
It’s unclear how the teens died, but the press release added that an autopsy had been scheduled in Winnipeg to confirm the identities and the manner of death. It also remains unknown what motivated the killings.
“This morning, at approximately 10:00 am, RCMP officers located two male bodies, in the dense brush, within 1 kilometer from where the items were found. This is approximately 8 km from where the burnt vehicle was located.”
Police said they uncovered key evidence that helped narrow their search on Aug. 2, when “items directly linked to the suspect” were found on the shores of Nelson River, the press release also stated.
ABC reported that Canadian law enforcement had dispatched divers, which helped locate many of the belongings believed to be McLeod and Schmegelsky’s. A helicopter search also spotted a wrecked aluminum boat police believed the teens might have also used.
Prior to the discovery of the two bodies, the parents of the accused teens expressed disbelief that their children were nationwide fugitives.
"To the people who truly care; I am sitting at home worrying about my son,” Keith McLeod, Kam’s father, said to ABC in a statement.
“Relentless media [are] hounding us for answers we don’t have,” he added. “My family and I do know that Kam is a kind, considerate and caring young man who has always been concerned about other people’s feelings. We hope that Kam will come home to us safely so we can all get to the bottom of this story."
Schmegelsky’s father, labeled his son’s cat-and-mouse chase with police a “suicide mission,” adding that he thought his “introvert” son would go out in a “blaze of glory” when he encounters police, according to the Canadian Press.
“A normal child doesn’t travel across the country killing people,” Alan Schmegelsky told the Canadian newswire.
“A child in some very serious pain does.”
The Canadian father, who lamented his son’s alleged involvement in the three British Columbia murders, also predicted the manhunt would end in his son’s death.
“Basically, he’s going to be dead today or tomorrow,” Schmegelsky said.
“I know that,” he added. “Rest in peace, Bryer. I love you. I’m so sorry all this had to happen. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t rescue you.”