Manitoba RCMP have searched through more than 100 abandoned houses in the remote northern town of Gillam as investigators enter the fifth day in their hunt for suspected killers Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.
Police announced Friday that they would be spending much of the weekend going door-to-door canvassing in the town, as well as on Fox Lake Cree Nation, in hopes of generating tips and information that advance the nationwide hunt for the young Port Alberni men.
“In the ongoing search for the suspects, RCMP officers have started to canvass every home in Gillam and Fox Lake Cree Nation,” Manitoba RCMP tweeted Saturday afternoon. “In addition to the canvass, they are also thoroughly searching every abandoned home in the area – over 100 cleared so far.”
A Canada-wide warrant is out for McLeod and Schmegelsky’s arrests. The two men have been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck, whose body was found July 19 at a Highway 37 pullout in northern B.C. They remain suspects in the shooting deaths of tourist couple Chynna Dease, 24, and Lucas Fowler, 23, who were found along the Alaska Highway on July 15.
McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, were last seen in Gillam on Monday. A burnt-out vehicle being driven by the pair was found near Fox Lake that evening, sparking a police block along the town’s sole access road.
It was initially believed that the wanted fugitives were still in the area, but investigators are now considering the possibility that someone may have inadvertently helped them flee. Until a new sighting elsewhere is confirmed, police will continue to focus their search in Gillam.
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces arrived Saturday to help Mounties search through the remote region where difficult terrain, high bush and swampy conditions have hindered search efforts. The Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130H Hercules aircraft will be assisting with an aerial search, the Department of National Defence confirmed.
Manitoba Mounties are also searching through large abandoned buildings, police said, including the Keewatinohk converter station camp that was used as a temporary work camp for Manitoba Hydro and is located roughly 90 kilometres northeast of Gillam.
Not only are our officers combing through kilometers of dense northern forest, they’re also challenged with searching & clearing large abandoned buildings like this one (with approx. 600 rooms) at the Keewatinohk Converter Station Camp, near Gillam. #rcmpmb @manitobahydro pic.twitter.com/IMkqMlKxx8
— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) July 27, 2019
Cpl. Julie Courchaine urged the public on Friday to keep a vigilant eye out for the wanted fugitives, who may have changed their appearance by now.
“Investigators continue to follow up on tips, review the physical and digital information collected, and share information with police services across Canada,” she said.
McLeod and Schmegelsky are considered armed and dangerous and may not be together. If spotted, do not approach them, and call 911 immediately.