Officers look through a remote lake area alongside a landed helicopter in the Gillam, Man., area in July 28, 2019, police image published to social media. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police photo)

Military pulls back, RCMP ‘scales down’ manhunt for B.C. murder suspects

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky have been on the run from police for more than two weeks

The Canadian military has pulled out from the manhunt in northern Manitoba, as RCMP “scale down” the search for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky – two Port Alberni men wanted in three homicides in northern B.C.

RCMP said Wednesday that the two aircrafts supplied by the Canadian Forces are no longer needed. The C-130H Hercules and CP-140 Aurora were brought into assist with infrared aerial searches as investigators faced challenging terrain, swampy areas and thick bushes.

At a press conference Wednesday, Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said they searched 1,000 sq. km. in northern Manitoba, as well as 500 homes.

“We conducted exhaustive searches,” MacLatchy.

“Over 250 tips were received and followed up on.”

But despite this, there have been no sightings since RCMP found the stolen vehicle the two suspects torched near Gillam Monday.

“To be clear, we are not ending this search,” MacLatchy.

Resources will stay in the area and more will be deployed as needed, she added.

“I know this news is not what the families of the victims and the people of northern Manitoba wanted to hear,” MacLatchy acknowledged.

“We would really like to find these suspects [and] we’ve pulled out all the stop on this thing… I have no regrets.”

READ MORE: Investigators focus hunt for suspected B.C. killers back to Gillam, Man.

The ongoing search, which has piqued the nation’s interest, entered into its ninth day Wednesday. McLeod and Schmegelsky have been charged in the second-degree murder of Leonard Dyck, of Vancouver, and are wanted in connection to the shooting deaths of Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler.

On Tuesday, investigators announced they would be withdrawing from York Landing, Man., after being unable to substantiate a tip that the wanted fugitives were spotted in the area. This means their last known whereabouts were in Gillam, Man., on July 22.

“A search of the York Landing area, which included the use of helicopters, drones, military resources, and door to door canvasses, has been completed,” Mounties said.

“The RCMP thanks the community for their patience and understanding, and continues to remind residents to remain vigilant.”

– With files from Katya Slepian


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Manitoba Manhunt

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: Learning continues in unique ways for SD 69 students

Youngsters find ways to excel while learning at home

PQBeat Podcast: Pro hockey goalie Connor LaCouvee of Qualicum Beach

Listen: Netminder talks BCHL, college, pros and training during a pandemic

Petition underway to get RDN to improve Sandpiper water quality

Campaign urges regional district to make issue a priority

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

COVID-19: Some gyms re-open in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Fitness facilities create space to allow appropriate social distancing

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Most Read