RCMP focus on Gillam area in manhunt for B.C. murder suspects

RCMP officers and dogs are combing through an area in northern Manitoba near Gillam where the discovery of the burning vehicle used by two teenage murder suspects has residents in the remote region on alert.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/07/2019 (1291 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

RCMP officers and dogs are combing through an area in northern Manitoba near Gillam where the discovery of the burning vehicle used by two teenage murder suspects has residents in the remote region on alert.

Manitoba RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Julie Courchaine confirmed Wednesday that the vehicle found in bush on Fox Lake Cree Nation, about 50 kilometres north of Gillam, was driven by the B.C. fugitives.

RCMP Bryer Schmegelsky, left, and Kam McLeod may be near Gillam.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are suspected in the shooting deaths of Lucas Fowler of Sydney, Australia, his girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, N.C., in northern B.C. last week and the death of another, as yet unidentified, man whose body was found a few kilometres away days later.

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Dwayne Forman, mayor of Gillam, located 1,000 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, said people in the community are scared.

Courchaine said RCMP have sent additional personnel to the area and officers have set up an informational checkstop on Highway 290, the one road leading in or out of Gillam and the link to Fox Lake.

Fox Lake Cree Nation Chief Walter Spence issued a statement Tuesday night, warning residents to be on guard, followed by a release from Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., instructing area residents to be vigilant.

A cashier at a gas bar in Split Lake, south of Gillam, said she believes she served the two suspects at about 4 p.m. Monday when they filled their vehicle’s gas tank. On Facebook, in response to a Manitoba RCMP alert, Mychelle Keeper said she recognized Schmegelsky’s camo shirt because he had asked her if alcohol was allowed inside, and that McLeod paid for the gas.

GRAEME BRUCE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / MAPBOX

A Twitter user, who was driving along Highway 280 late Monday night, said he was startled by a young man who jumped out at him, trying to catch a ride. He tweeted that he is unsure that it was one of the wanted men because he couldn’t gauge the man’s height and did not notice the clothes he wore.

The Toyota Rav4, driven by Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, was found burned out near Gillam. (Supplied)

The Twitter user said the hitchhiker looked desperate, and likely could have only headed towards Gillam or Leaf Rapids.

RCMP said the two men are both six-foot-four and weigh about 170 pounds, adding that they may have changed their appearance and could be driving a different vehicle. The two should be considered armed and dangerous. If spotted, people should not approach them but call 911.

nicholas.frew@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @n_frew

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