After two bodies were found in the Manitoba wilderness last week, police confirmed today that they belong to wanted BC murder suspects Kam McLeod, and Bryer Schmegelsky.
The pair, both from Port Alberni, BC, were each facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Vancouver resident Leonard Dyck, whose body was found near a burnt-out pickup truck, close to Dease Lake, BC on July 19.
They were also suspects in the deaths of 24-year-old Chynna Noelle Deese and 23-year-old Lucas Robertson Fowler.
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Following an autopsy, police said on Monday that the two died in what appears to be “suicides by gunfire.”
However, they are unsure at this point of the exact time and date of the pair’s death as “both individuals were deceased for a number of days before they were found.”
That said, “there are strong indications” that they had been alive for a few days since they were last seen in July and during the search efforts in the Gillam area.
The pair were the subjects of a Canada-wide manhunt, which was largely concentrated in and around Gilliam, Manitoba, after another torched vehicle believed to be connected to the pair was found in the area in late July.
Police also confirmed on Monday that two firearms were also found with the pair, and forensic analysis is underway in order to “definitively confirm” that the weapons are connected with the northern BC homicide investigations.
Last week, Manitoba RCMP announced that on August 3, they had found “several items” they said were “directly linked” to the suspects, on the shoreline of the Nelson River, approximately nine kilometres from where the pair’s torched vehicle was originally located.
Manitoba RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said at the time that this discovery enabled officers to “narrow down” the search.
“We immediately sent in specialized RCMP teams to begin searching nearby, high-probability areas,” she said.
At 10 am last Tuesday, officers announced they had found “two male bodies in the dense brush within one kilometre from where the items were found… approximately eight kilometres from the burnt vehicle.”
Now, with the identity of the bodies confirmed, police said investigators are assessing all the items that were found in Manitoba – along with the previous findings related to the three northern BC homicide investigations – “in order to gain more clarity into what happened to Leonard Dyck, Lucas Fowler, and Chynna Deese.”
Once this review is complete, police said they will provide the families with an update “with respect to the totality of the investigations” and then release the information publicly.
More to come…