Hunt for suspected killers over, two bodies found

Mounties have announced they’ve found human remains they believe are those of two murder suspects being sought in northern Manitoba.

Mounties in Winnipeg say the bodies were discovered near the Nelson River.

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RCMP said at a news conference this afternoon that the remains were found in dense bushes near the river this morning. They believe them to be Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18.

Some items directly linked to them were found along the river on Friday which allowed police to narrow the search region. 

Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said, "I'm confident that it is them." But to be certain, they will conduct autopsies. However, RCMP say the search for the teens has come to an end.

The two were suspected in the deaths in BC of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese found dead on the Alaska Highway last month. They are also suspects in the murder of a third man in a separate incident.

Below is part of the official statement from MacLatchy:

On Friday, August 2nd, that one critical piece of evidence was found – items directly linked to the suspects were located on the shoreline of the Nelson River.

Following this discovery, we were, at last, able to narrow down the search.

We immediately sent in specialized RCMP teams to begin searching nearby high-probability areas.

This morning, at approximately 10:00 am, RCMP officers located two male bodies, in the dense brush, within 1 kilometre from where the items were found. This is approximately 8 km from where the burnt vehicle was located.

At this time, we are confident that these are the bodies of the two suspects wanted in connection with the homicides in British Columbia. An autopsy is being scheduled in Winnipeg to confirm their identities and to determine their cause of death.

To the families of everyone affected by the series of events over the last few weeks, I know it has been so very difficult and I hope today’s announcement can begin to bring some closure.

I want to thank the communities and the leadership of Gillam, Fox Lake Cree Nation, Ilford War Lake First Nation and York Landing.

Your lives have been disrupted, many of you lived with uncertainty and fear, but throughout, you were resilient, you came together as communities and you helped our officers get the job done.

To the officers involved in the search efforts; I commend you for your determination, for your innovation, for never giving up, and for working night and day to bring this search to a conclusion.

This was a search that could not have been successfully achieved without the help from our partners at the Canadian Armed Forces, from RCMP employees who came in from across the country and from multiple private partners.

Above all however, it was a search that could only be successful if we had strong public engagement and support.

Thank you to all Canadians for remaining vigilant, for calling us with information and most importantly, for being our partners.

© Virden Empire-Advance