Manhunt for Teen Murder Suspects is Over
Police in Manitoba believe two bodies found amidst dense brush near the town of Gillam, MB are those of teenage murder suspects Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.
Investigators say the discovery was made on Wednesday morning thanks to leads collected from some of the suspects' belongings that were recovered last week from a nearby riverbank.
Autopsies will be scheduled in Winnipeg to determine how the suspects died.
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett said they will continue their investigation to look into what set off the young men.
"There may be additional items that could help in that regard, identifying a motive," he said.
The 19-year-old McLeod and 18-year-old Schmegelsky of Port Alberni, B.C. were facing a second-degree murder charge for the death of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck, a UBC lecturer.
They were also the suspects in the shooting deaths of a young couple, 23-year-old Australian Lucas Fowler and 24-year-old Chynna Deese from Charlotte, North Carolina.
NEWSTALK1010 Public Safety Analyst Chris Lewis said along with hopefully more details about motives for the deaths, the autopsies will also reveal information about how the suspects died.
"It doesn't make it sound to me like they died from the elements," he said. "Did they both die hungry and thirsty in the same spot? Did one die and the other commit suicide? Did they commit suicide together, was it a murder-suicide, there's a whole bunch of options there."
The bodies were found roughly eight kilometres away from where their burnt out stolen car was also found.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the RCMP had a major task in finding them.
"When you're thinking of a geographic space that is the equivalent of London to Moscow, very inhospitable terrain, very difficult, challenging circumstances, a dangerous operation from beginning to end, the fact that the RCMP were ultimately able to locate these people and to give the public the satisfaction of knowing that that element of risk had been elemented, that in itself is an extraordinary accomplishment," he said.
Gillam Mayor Dwayne Forman said the news was an "unbelievable sense of relief."
"The closure is here for Gillam," he said. "But the closure for the victims families is far from over."
With files from the Canadian Press