Damaged boat found along river amid search in Canada for fugitive murder suspects

As the manhunt for two young men suspected in the killings of three people in Canada nears the end of its second week, authorities said Monday that divers have completed searching a river in a remote and rugged part of northern Manitoba where a damaged boat has been spotted.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba said officers in a helicopter spotted the damaged aluminum boat on the shore of the Nelson River on Friday afternoon.

After the boat was discovered, five members of the agency's underwater recovery team arrived in Gillam on Saturday night and were "expected to conduct a thorough underwater search of significant areas of interest," according to police.

CANADIAN POLICE SENDING 'HIGHLY TRAINED' DIVE TEAM TO SEARCH FOR FUGITIVE MURDER SUSPECTS

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, have eluded capture for nearly two weeks in the wilderness of northern Manitoba. The two have been charged in the death of Vancouver professor Leonard Dyck and suspected in the double homicide of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend, Chynna Deese. Witnesses reported seeing the men in Dease Lake, B.C., Cold Lake, Alta., Meadow Lake, Sask., and Gillam, where the trail went cold.

A damaged aluminum boat was discovered on the shore of the Nelson River in northern Manitoba on Friday.

A damaged aluminum boat was discovered on the shore of the Nelson River in northern Manitoba on Friday. (RCMP Manitoba)

On Wednesday, Canadian police said they were scaling down, but not abandoning the hunt in the region for the murder suspects in the Gillam area, about 660 miles north of Winnipeg, where the burned-out vehicle belonging to the suspects was found.

The damaged aluminum boat discovered on the shore of the Nelson River in northern Manitoba provides a new lead in the manhunt for the two murder suspects.

The damaged aluminum boat discovered on the shore of the Nelson River in northern Manitoba provides a new lead in the manhunt for the two murder suspects. (RCMP Manitoba)

Authorities have used helicopters, drones, boats, and dogs to search approximately 4,200 square miles of tundra, muskeg, and dense forests. At one point a military Hercules aircraft was used in the search, which has stretched across three provinces.

Manitoba RCMP's Underwater Recovery Team arrived Gillam, Manitoba Saturday night and divers will begin to search a section of the Nelson River on Sunday, according to authorities.

Manitoba RCMP's Underwater Recovery Team arrived Gillam, Manitoba Saturday night and divers will begin to search a section of the Nelson River on Sunday, according to authorities. (RCMP Manitoba)

The diving team investigating the Nelson River began their search early Sunday afternoon by taking supplies into a boat as a helicopter overhead scoped out the area, CBC News reported. The underwater search in the area wrapped up around 5 p.m. local time, according to CBC News.

By Monday, the RCMP said on Twitter the team had completed their work, and won't be conducting any additional dives.

"A police roadblock has been put in place today in the Sundance, MB, area for ongoing search efforts," police added.

FUGITIVE MURDER SUSPECTS COULD LIVE 'FOR WEEKS' IN VAST CANADIAN WILDERNESS, SURVIVAL EXPERT SAYS

McLeod and Schmegelsky have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Dyck, a University of British Columbia professor whose body was found July 19 in British Columbia. They are also suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese of Charlotte, N.C., whose bodies were found July 15 along the Alaska Highway about 300 miles from where Dyck was killed.

The search for the pair — which has involved the canvassing of more than 500 homes and buildings and following up on over 250 tips — has left some residents scared and on edge.

"However, even with this extraordinary effort, we have not had any confirmed sightings of the suspects since the burned vehicle was located," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said at a news conference on Wednesday.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

There is a possibility the suspects had some sort of assistance in fleeing the area, MacLatchy said, adding there's also a chance they could be dead.

"Everything is possible at this stage," she said. "The north part of the province is a very unforgiving place. We are keeping all possibilities in mind as we go forward."

Fox News' Cristina Corbin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.