The manhunt and sudden turn in the investigation into three deaths in northern B.C. have left people in the suspects’ hometown of Port Alberni reeling.
RCMP said Tuesday Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are suspects in the shooting deaths of Lucas Fowler of Sydney, Australia, his girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, N.C., and the death of an unidentified man whose body was found a few kilometres from the teens’ burned-out vehicle. Fowler and Deese were found dead on July 15 and three days later, the unidentified man was found near Dease Lake.
Police said McLeod and Schmegelsky may be in Manitoba after a reported sighting in the northern town of Gillam. They had also been seen earlier in northern Saskatchewan, driving a grey 2011 Toyota Rav 4, said Sgt. Janelle Shoihet.
She said anyone who spots the teens, both six-foot-4 inches tall and each weighing around 169 pounds, should not approach them but call 911.
Police initially thought the teenagers were missing but after making an appeal to the public on Monday, investigators received new information that led them to believe they are suspects in all three deaths, Shoihet said.
Employees are in shock at this Port Alberni Walmart where Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod worked until recently. They recently learned that the teens are now wanted in connection with the three deaths in northern B.C.
“I didn’t know them well but I know we all care about each other here. It’s nothing we want to hear ever especially when you know the names and you’ve seen them when you’re growing up and all that. It’s a hard thing for sure,” Curtis Dewar, a former co-worker, said.
Port Alberni’s mayor said the news is hitting the entire community hard.
“This is a really big shock today but we know they are suspects but we are just going to be watching as it all unfolds and trying to support the families,” Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions said.
Port Alberni resident Leslie West said the turns in the investigation have been a rollercoaster.
“I never even had an idea that it would turn out like this. I just thought that they were missing,” West said.
With files from The Canadian Press