Today's Edition Local News Missouri News National News World Opinion Obits Sports GoMidMo Events Classifieds Jobs Newsletters Contests Search
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
story.lead_photo.caption In this July 23, 2019 file photo, security camera images of fugitives Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are displayed during a news conference in Surrey, British Columbia. Police said Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, they believe the two fugitives suspected of killing a North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend as well as another man have been found dead in Manitoba. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP File)

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian police said Monday they believe two teenage fugitives suspected of killing a North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend as well as another man took their own lives amid a nationwide manhunt.

The Manitoba Medical Examiner completed the autopsies and confirmed two bodies found last week in dense bush in northern Manitoba were indeed 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky. A police statement said their deaths appeared to be suicide.

A manhunt for the pair had spread across three provinces and included the Canadian military. The suspects had not been seen since the burned-out car was found July 22.

McLeod and Schmegelsky were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, a University of British Columbia lecturer whose body was found July 19 along a highway in British Columbia.

They were also suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese, of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose bodies were found July 15 along the Alaska Highway about 300 miles from where Dyck was killed.

The bodies of the suspects were found near Gillam, Manitoba — more than 2,000 miles from northern British Columbia.

Police said in a statement McLeod and Schmegelsky were dead for a number of days before they were found, but there were strong indications they had been alive for a few days since last seen July 22 and during extensive search efforts in the area.

Police also confirmed two guns were located and authorities are working to definitively confirm the firearms are connected to the murders in British Columbia.

Critical evidence found last week when police discovered items directly linked to the suspects on the shoreline of the Nelson River helped locate the bodies, police said. Following that discovery, authorities were able to narrow down the search.

Police sent in specialized teams and began searching high-probability areas. On Wednesday morning, police located the two bodies within 0.6 miles from where the items were found and approximately 5.6 miles from where they left a burnt-out vehicle July 22.

The separate discoveries of three bodies and burning cars shook rural northern British Columbia and Manitoba.

Schmegelsky’s father, Alan Schmegelsky, said last month that he expected the nationwide manhunt to end in the death of his son, who he said was on “a suicide mission.”

McLeod and Schmegelsky grew up together on Vancouver Island and worked together at a local Walmart before they set off together on what their parents thought was a trip to Yukon for work.

McLeod and Schmegelsky themselves were originally considered missing persons and only became suspects later.

Police were investigating a photograph of Nazi paraphernalia allegedly sent online by one of the suspects. Schmegelsky allegedly sent photographs of a swastika armband and a Hitler Youth knife to an online friend on the video-game network Steam.

Alan Schmegelsky had said his son took him to an army surplus store about eight months ago in his small Vancouver Island hometown of Port Alberni, where his son was excited about the Nazi artifacts.

Alan Schmegelsky said he didn’t believe his son identified as a neo-Nazi, but he did think the memorabilia was “cool.”

Fowler and Deese were found shot dead along the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia.

Fowler, the son of a chief inspector with the New South Wales Police Department, was living in British Columbia and Deese was visiting him.

The couple had met at a hostel in Croatia and their romance blossomed as they adventured across the U.S., Mexico, Peru and elsewhere, the woman’s older brother said.

British Deese said the couple was on a trip to visit Canadian national parks when they were killed. He said the family believes they must have had engine trouble in their van.

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT