On July 23 RCMP officially named Kam McLeod, left, and Bryer Schmegelsky suspects in the homicide of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese, two tourists who were found shot south of Liard Hot Springs on the Alaska Highway the morning of July 15. (RCMP handout)

On July 23 RCMP officially named Kam McLeod, left, and Bryer Schmegelsky suspects in the homicide of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese, two tourists who were found shot south of Liard Hot Springs on the Alaska Highway the morning of July 15. (RCMP handout)

Motive will be ‘extremely difficult’ to determine in northern B.C. deaths, RCMP say

The bodies of Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky have been found

With the discovery of the bodies, the public may never get all the answers in the case of two young men and three bodies in the northern part of the province, B.C. RCMP say.

Asst. Comm. Kevin Hackett told a news conference on Wednesday afternoon that investigators still have work to do, though details of fugitives Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky may remain unknown.

“We still need to ensure our investigative findings – whether it is statements, evidentiary timelines, physical or digital evidence – continue to confirm our investigative clearing that eliminates any other possibilities or suspects,” Hackett said at the force’s headquarters in Surrey.

“Until that is concluded, we will not close this file.”

READ MORE: Bodies of B.C. fugitives believed to have been found in Manitoba

Earlier on Wednesday, RCMP in Manitoba announced that two bodies found on the banks of the Nelson River likely belong to McLeod and Schmegelsky. The cause of death was not released. Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday in Winnipeg.

Police declined to provide details in the death of UBC lecturer Leonard Dyck out of respect for his family. His body was found at a Highway 37 pullout, south of Dease Lake, on July 19.

The second-degree murder charge laid in Dyck’s death will be removed, the BC Prosecution Service said.

McLeod and Schmegelsky, of Port Alberni, were also wanted in the double homicide of Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler, two tourists who were found dead along the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs on July 15.

“The RCMP will continue to offer support to [their families], understanding that the traumatic losses they have gone through do not end with the death of these men, whom we believe to be our suspects,” Hackett said.

Police announced the men were linked to the three deaths on July 23.

When asked how they managed to elude the authorities for so long, Hackett pointed to the vastness of western Canada and said McLeod and Schmegelsky travelled more than 2,500 kilometres before they dropped off the grid.

“I don’t think I need to educate anyone on the geography of this country – it’s a huge country. The areas that they travelled were some of the most remote areas of the country, coupled by the fact they were travelling in areas that weren’t highly populated by communities or residences,” Hackett said.

“And frankly, when individuals are on the run or trying to elude police, [they] take measures to avoid contact with police and the public so they can maintain their freedom for as long as they possibly can.”

Hackett said it would be “extremely difficult” to determine a definitive motive for Schmegelsky’s and McLeod’s actions.

Investigators received more than 1,000 tips from the public in the course of the manhunt, – in one case prompting the deployment of the military.

Officials on the ground dealt with difficult terrain, dense forests and swampy brush in northern Manitoba. Search efforts crossed three provinces, and spread through some of the country’s most rural locations.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A judge has found an Edmonton woman guilty of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of 5-year-old girl

The woman was charged and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and assault with weapons, including a belt and a spatula

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 2,042 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jason Kenney urges federal government to push U.S. for surplus COVID-19 vaccines

‘It makes no sense for our neighbours and regional states to be sitting on doses that we cannot use,’ the premier said

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Kenney to announce plan for truckers to get COVID-19 vaccinations in nearby states

Alberta is approaching 25,000 active cases of COVID-19, and there are more than 600 people in hospital with the illness

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman travelling from Alberta found dead in B.C. park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Most Read