RCMP say they are unable to substantiate tip of Port Alberni suspects in York Landing, Man.

RCMP say they are unable to substantiate tip of Port Alberni suspects in York Landing, Man.

Manitoba RCMP say after a thorough and exhaustive search, they are not able to substantiate the tip of the sighting of the Port Alberni suspects in York Landing, Man.

Police said they will continue to search York Landing and Gillam.

The focus of the manhunt for Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, shifted to the York Landing after the RCMP received a tip that two males matching the description of the wanted suspects were seen in the area 90-kilometres southwest of Gillam.

The tip came in just before 5 p.m. on Sunday when members of Bear Clan Patrol, an Indigenous-led neighbourhood watch group, reported the pair had been spotted near a dump in York Landing.

“Based on the information received, the RCMP immediately deployed multiple resources to the community,” said Cpl. Julie Courchaine of the Manitoba RCMP earlier Monday.

“Including the Emergency Response Team, Police Dog Services, Containment Team members, Major Crime Services and Air Services assets.”

She said that officers searched the York Landing area through the night, and the Royal Canadian Air Force is also assisting with the search.

“Officers on the ground have not made contact with the individuals, as such, the RCMP is not yet in a position to confirm that these are the wanted suspects,” said Courchaine.

Schmegelsky and McLeod are charged with second-degree murder in the death of University of British Columbia professor Leonard Dyck. They are also suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese whose bodies were found on the Alaska Highway in northern B.C.

Late Monday afternoon, the Chief of York Landing First Nation said with no sighting of the two suspects, the emergency response team was going back to Gillam to “develop a plan moving forward” and the major crime unit had also left the community.

The last confirmed sighting of the two suspects was a week ago in Gillam. A burned-out Toyota RAV4 the suspects were travelling in was found near Gillam last week.

Before that, the pair were also spotted in Split Lake, a community about 170 kilometres west of Gillam.

Nathan Neckoway, a councillor for Tataskweyak Cree Nation at Split Lake, said the two men fuelled up at a local gas station. They also went through a check stop and were questioned by band constables who did not know at that time the men were murder suspects.

The men had camping gear and maps in the back seat of their vehicle, Neckoway said in an online message.

“This is scary to hear how easily these guys were travelling from Western Canada and now in our territory.”

York Landing is only accessible by air or a two-hour ferry crossing in the summer. There’s also a rail line that runs 25 kilometres south of the community.

A Canadian Air Force CC-130H Hercules aircraft equipped with high-tech thermal detection gear joined the search in northern Manitoba over the weekend. Police also used drones and tracking dogs while officers went door to door checking every home and abandoned building.

People in York Landing were encouraged to remain vigilant, stay indoors and keep their doors and windows locked, said Courchaine.

“We are still looking at every possibility in this investigation,” she said.

With files from The Canadian Press



Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!