BC RCMP are answering questions regarding the northern B.C. homicides, following the announcement that two bodies believed to be the murder suspects were found in northern Manitoba.
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RCMP assistant commissioner Jane MacLatchy said the bodies were discovered Wednesday morning near the shoreline of the Nelson River, within a kilometre from where several items linked to the two young men were found last week.
She said autopsies will be done to confirm the identities but that the discovery should bring relief to families of three people slain in northern B.C. and people in Manitoba communities where officers have been searching for nearly two weeks.
Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, from Port Alberni, B.C., were facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer from Vancouver.
Dyck’s body was discovered along a highway pullout two kilometres south of Dease Lake, B.C., on July 19.
The RCMP have said McLeod and Schmegelsky were also suspects in the shooting deaths of American tourist Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler. Their bodies were found along a highway near Liard Hot Springs, B.C., on July 15.
Police initially treated McLeod and Schmegelsky as missing persons when their charred vehicle was found not far from Dyck’s body. The pair had told family and friends they were leaving their home of Port Alberni, B.C. to find work.
But investigators later deemed them to be suspects and details surfaced about their use of video games. One game account showed Schmegelsky was a frequent player of a shooting game called Russia Battlegrounds, and both young men’s Facebook pages were connected to an account with a modified Soviet flag as its icon.
RCMP also said they were investigating a photograph of Nazi paraphernalia sent to another user by Schmegelsky, who was also pictured in military fatigues brandishing an airsoft rifle and wearing a gas mask.
The manhunt for the pair stretched across the Prairies into northern Manitoba when a second burned-out vehicle they were travelling in was found July 23 near the town of Gillam.
With files from Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press