The two Port Alberni teens who were previously thought missing have now been deemed suspects in three northern B.C. deaths and police say they may be in Manitoba.
RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said Tuesday 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky are considered suspects in the deaths of Australian Lucas Fowler, his American girlfriend Chynna Deese and an unidentified man found a few kilometres from the teens’ burned-out vehicle.
According to RCMP, McLeod and Schmegelsky may be in Manitoba as they have reasons to believe they were recently in the Gillam area. They are considered to be armed and extremely dangerous.
PLEASE SHARE!Police request the public's assistance in locating the suspects connected to Northern BC investigations…
Posted by BC RCMP on Tuesday, July 23, 2019
On July 15, the bodies of 23-year-old Fowler and his 24-year-old Deese of Charlotte, N.C., were found on the side of the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs. Police later said the couple were victims to “gun violence”
Then about 470 kilometres away, the body of a man was found at a highway pullout on July 19, close to where officers responded to a vehicle fire south of the Stikine River Bridge on Highway 37, near Dease Lake.
The deceased man has not been identified and police have not confirmed how he died. He is described as a white man, 5’8″ to 5’10,” with a heavy build, 50 to 60-years-old with a grey beard and grey hair.
BC RCMP Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett said they are still working on identifying the individual and contacting his family.
“Once those efforts are completed and once we have made a positive identification, more facts will be able to be relayed to the public and to the media,” Hackett said.
Police said McLeod and Schmegelsky were driving the red and grey Dodge pickup truck that was found burned out.
The two were originally considered missing and on Monday, Al Schmegelsky told CHEK News he hasn’t heard from his 18-year-old son Bryer since he received a text message from him 10 days ago.
Extended video from Monday: Father of Port Alberni suspect in northern B.C. murder case speaks to CHEK News
Yesterday Al Schmegelsky, the father of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, who is wanted in connection to three suspicious deaths in northern B.C., spoke to April Lawrence outside the CHEK News studio in Victoria, BC. This interview was a day prior to RCMP announcing Bryer and Kam McLeod are suspects in the deaths of Australian Lucas Fowler, his American girlfriend Chynna Deese and an unidentified man found a few kilometres from the teens’ burned-out vehicle.Read more about the case here: https://www.cheknews.ca/missing-port-alberni-teens-now-considered-suspects-in-3-northern-b-c-deaths-587705/
Posted by CHEK News: Official Page on Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Police had said the two were travelling through B.C. to Whitehorse to look for work.
On Tuesday morning, police said McLeod and Schmegelsky were last seen in northern Saskatchewan driving a grey 2011 Toyota Rav 4. RCMP were advised about the sighting on Monday. CBC has confirmed the two were at the Meadow Lake Co-op on July 21.
Saskatchewan RCMP said they are on the lookout for the suspect and also confirmed they were seen in Meadow Lake Sunday.
LIVE: RCMP are providing another update on double homicide and missing persons cases in Northern B.C.
Posted by CBC Vancouver on Tuesday, July 23, 2019
“We believe that they are likely continuing to travel,” Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, BC RCMP media relations officer, said during an update into the investigation on Tuesday.
Then on Tuesday afternoon, Manitoba RCMP said the pair may be in Manitoba.
PUBLIC SAFETY – Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky MAY be in Manitoba and are considered dangerous. We have reasons to believe they were recently in the Gillam area. If you spot them – take no actions – do not approach – call 911 or your local police immediately. #rcmpmb pic.twitter.com/yh2yV78oZd
— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) July 23, 2019
According to police, McLeod and Schmegelsky are considered dangerous. The public is asked not to approach them if they see them and call 911. The two may have changed their appearance and could be wearing different clothing.
Kam McLeod is described as:
- Approximately 169 pounds
- Dark hair and facial hair
- Brown eyes
Bryer Schmegelsky is described as:
- Approximately 169 pounds
- Sandy brown hair
Claudia Bunce, owner of the Cassiar Mountain Jade Store in Jade City, B.C., said the pair stopped in last Thursday, the day before their burned-out truck and the body of the unidentified man was found about 115 kilometres away near Dease Lake.
The staff member who saw the boys was too shaken to speak to a reporter, but Bunce said the boys arrived in the truck and visited the store for free coffee. She said they were on their own and she doesn’t believe they had a conversation with the employee.
“I don’t think they stood out any more than any other teenage boys who were just on the road,” she said. “We’re a very busy store.”
She said the situation is very frightening for everyone who lives in the remote area.
“As you can imagine, the community is very upset about this,” Bunce said. “It’s very rural – beyond rural. We’re on a highway with no cell service. Most of us don’t have power. So it’s unnerving.”
RCMP were at the store on Tuesday gathering hours of surveillance footage and interviewing staff members. Bunce said she didn’t know exactly what time last Thursday the young men were in the store.
Fowler’s father, Chief Insp. Stephen Fowler of the New South Wales Police Force told the media on Monday that the deaths of his son and his girlfriend was a tragic end to a love story between the inseparable couple.
Fowler said Lucas, 23, was having the time of his life and the family was overjoyed when he met 24-year-old Deese, who were a great pair and fell in love.
Police released a composite sketch of a man a witness saw speaking with the couple on the Alaska Highway, also known as Highway 97, on the evening of July 14.
Shoihet said the man was driving an older-model Jeep Cherokee with a black stripe on the hood and police would still like him to contact them.
BC RCMP have also released two surveillance videos of Deese and Fowler at a gas station in Fort Nelson on July 13. It shows the couple arriving at the gas station at around 7:30 p.m. and leaving around 7:47 p.m.
Shoihet said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information who hasn’t yet spoken to police can call the Major Crime tip line at 1-877-543-4822.
With files from Camille Bains, Laura Kane with The Canadian Press and Bonnie Allen, CBC