Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Canada deploys divers in search for fugitive teen murder suspects

RCMP sending divers to Gillam, Man., to aid search for B.C. murder suspects RCMP divers deployed in search for teenaged murder suspects
Patty Aguilar | 05 August, 2019, 02:25

Underwater divers have been deployed to a northern Manitoba river where a damaged aluminum boat may provide some clue to the whereabouts of two suspects wanted in connection to three B.C. homicides.

RCMP officers searching in the Gillam area on Manitoba for Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19.

Searchers on a helicopter spotted the boat on the shore of the Nelson River on Friday afternoon, RCMP said on Sunday.

The two men, childhood friends from Port Alberni, B.C., are charged with second-degree murder in the death of University of British Columbia lecturer Leonard Dyck, and are suspects in the killings of tourist couple Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese.

RCMP said an underwater recovery team will arrive in Gillam on Saturday night and divers will begin to search a section of the Nelson River on Sunday.

They are suspects in the murders of Mr Fowler, 23, and Ms Deese, 24, who were found shot dead on the side of a highway in the western province of British Colombia (BC). Sightings have been posted to social media before being shared with the RCMP, that has caused delays in the investigation.

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The abandoned Toyota RAV4 was found still alight in dense bush near a rail line at a First Nation settlement near Gillam, northern Manitoba on July 23. The Globe and Mail reports the boat was found north of Gillam about 13 kilometers from the spot where police discovered an SUV burning in a ditch, suspected to have been driven by the teens.

The news comes after police said Wednesday it would be scale back search efforts around Gillam - the last confirmed location of the duo, which was more than a week ago.

They were spotted in a Co-op store in Meadow Lake, Sask., on July 21, and some reports placed them in Ontario, but those tips were deemed unreliable by police.

Survival experts predict the teenagers would struggle to stay alive if they attempted to hide in the swampy, bug-infested wilderness around Gillam without shelter and equipment.

The OPP said it received more than 30 tips in less than eight hours on Thursday.

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