Damaged boat found and dive team sent in for Port Alberni murder suspects search

Damaged boat found and dive team sent in for Port Alberni murder suspects search
An aluminum boat that was found damaged has prompted additional search efforts for the two suspected Port Alberni murderers (Photo: Manitoba RCMP)

RVA damaged boat that was found on the Nelson River has prompted additional efforts from the RCMP, in their search for the two Port Alberni suspected murderers.

Officers searching from a helicopter on Friday spotted a damaged aluminum boat on the shore of the river.

Five members of the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team were quickly sent that same day and arrived in Gillam, MB Saturday. Police say they will be conducting a thorough underwater search of significant areas of interest Sunday.

The RCMP’s Underwater Recovery Team preparing to dive in the Nelson River Sunday after a damaged boat was spotted (Photo: Angela Johnston/CBC)

The Nelson River runs from Lake Winnipeg up to Hudson Bay, and is near Gillam and York Landing.

Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, 64, whose body was found July 19 near the pair’s burned-out truck in northwestern B.C.

They are also suspects in the death of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, found four days earlier along a highway more than 450 kilometres from where Dyck was discovered.

The two fled B.C. and were spotted heading east, before their stolen Rav-4 was found burned out near Gillam on July 22. Now RCMP are on an extensive search in the remote part of the country.

A unconfirmed sighting was reported on July 28 in the town of York Landing, 100-kilometres south-west of Gillam.

A major search of the surrounding area following turned up no evidence or additional sightings, RCMP then pivoted their resources back to the Gillam area.

A video was released by officers in July showing the two in the Meadow Lake Co-op on July 21.

Earlier that same day, Cold Lake RCMP say at 9:30 a.m. a resident came across a vehicle stuck on a trail behind their residence. Two younger males were seen outside of the Toyota Rav-4.

The resident help them get unstuck, and the suspects continued on their way. The resident later reported it to police after seeing the pair identified on social media.

Multiple reports have also come in from Ontario of possible sightings. Ontario Provincial Police have set up a team of investigators to look into the potential encounters.

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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