Winnipeg: Two bodies believed to be British Columbia murder suspects who were the focus of a massive manhunt have been found in dense brush in northern Manitoba.
RCMP assistant commissioner Jane MacLatchy said the bodies were found Wednesday morning near the shoreline of the Nelson River, within a kilometre from where several items linked to the two young men were found last week.
“Over the last two weeks, our officers have worked tirelessly to find the suspects,” MacLatchy told reporters in Winnipeg.
“While there were no confirmed sightings since July 22nd, our officers never gave up in their search efforts following-up on every lead, considering all options, and using every available resource.”
Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, from Port Alberni, B.C., were facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer from Vancouver.
Dyck’s body was discovered along a highway pullout two kilometres south of Dease Lake, B.C., on July 19.
The RCMP have said McLeod and Schmegelsky were also suspects in the shooting deaths of American tourist Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler. Their bodies were found along a highway near Liard Hot Springs, B.C., on July 15.
Police initially treated McLeod and Schmegelsky as missing when their charred vehicle was found not far from Dyck’s body, but investigators later deemed them to be suspects after they were spotted in northern Saskatchewan.
The manhunt stretched into northern Manitoba when a second burned-out vehicle used by the young men was found July 23 near the town of Gillam.
MacLatchy said their bodies were about eight kilometres from where that vehicle, a Toyota RAV4, was located.
“At this time, we are confident that these are the bodies of the two suspects wanted in connection with the homicides in British Columbia,” MacLatchy said Wednesday afternoon.
She said autopsies will be done in Winnipeg to confirm their identities and to determine cause of death.