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.

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

Just Posted

Slideshow: Hope’s winter weather in photos

Readers submit photos of Hope under a blanket of snow

Borrow $8 billion for Fraser Valley rail link, Abbotsford mayor urges province

Henry Braun urges province to borrow billions to connect Abbotsford & Chilliwack to Metro Vancouver

Vandals destroy sign at Hope Legion

Sign found to have fire damage and missing letters Tuesday morning

Upper Fraser RCMP joins Twitter

Twitter feed once limited to Chilliwack expands

Three concerts in two weeks at Bozzini’s Upstairs Lounge in Chilliwack

Jon Brooks and Lynne Hanson are up first, followed by WiL and then Dan Bern for February concerts

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Prices for recreational marijuana in B.C. down from a year ago

New inflation figures show gasoline, housing and certain kinds of food cost more

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Much-raided Langley animal rescue society loses registered charitable status

Revoked following an audit by Canada Revenue Agency, records show

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Veteran B.C. journalist battles cancer through pioneering immunotherapy treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

Most Read