Canadian Police Wind Back Murder Suspect Manhunt After No New Sightings

The exhaustive search for two Canadian teens charged with killing a man and suspected of murdering Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese will be scaled back, with Canadian authorities saying they will be more “strategic” with the manhunt.

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CBC reports the search for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, which has focussed on the remote Manitoba town of Gillam after the pair’s burnt out Toyota RAV4 was discovered nearby, will no longer utilise military personnel and aircraft.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said the combined search efforts had combed through 11,000 square kilometres of terrain and investigated every building in the region.

“However, even with this extraordinary effort, we have not had any confirmed sightings of the suspects since the burned vehicle was located,” she said.

MacLatchy said it was possible the suspects were given a ride out of town, or had died in the rough terrain around Gillam.

CityNews cited Gillam Mayor John McDonald, who said it was likely the pair may have died in the wilderness.

“Without familiarity with the bush around here, I don’t think anybody is giving them much of a chance of survival,” McDonald said.

Despite the reduction in military resources, MacLatchy said specialist teams were still on the ground, along with around 40 police officers.

“It is not over, not by any means,” she said.

“I think we still have a good viable investigation on the ground here and that we need to stay another little while,” added RCMP Inspector Kevin Lewis. 

McLeod and Schmegelsky have been charged with the second-degree murder of Canadian man Leonard Dyck, who was found shot dead near Dease Lake, British Columbia, on July 19, 2019.

They are also suspects in the deaths of Fowler and Deese, who were found dead in the region four days prior.