By Lucia Suarez Sang
Published July 26, 2019
The countrywide dragnet for two Canada teens wanted for murdering three people, including an American woman, has entered its fourth day as police were spotted leaving with numerous items – some the size of large Tupperware totes – from the last known residence of one of the suspects.
Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are being sought in the three high-profile killings in northern British Columbia, Canada. The teens are believed to have killed 23-year-old American Chynna Deese, 24, and her Australian boyfriend, 23, near Liard Hot Springs.
The teens, natives of Port Alberni, British Columbia, were initially listed as missing persons after their burned-out truck was discovered on July 19. However, during their investigation, police found a body at a nearby highway pullout. The body was identified Wednesday as that of Leonard Dyck, a Vancouver man who police believe the pair was responsible for murdering as well.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police have zeroed in on the northern region of Manitoba after they confirmed two past sightings of the teens in the town of Gillam.
On Thursday, RCMP spent more than three hours searching the last known residences for McLeod and Schmegelsky in Port Alberni.
Neighbors to Schmegelsky’s grandmother’s house – his most recent residence – told the Star newspaper that police spent several hours at the home, photographing all around the house, including the backyard. They said that they were also seen speaking with an older woman.
Police also when to the home of McLeod’s parents Thursday evening, with one police officer inside an unmarked Suburban blocking the driveway to the home, telling reporters “don’t come in here” when they approached. The Star reported that police could be seen coming out of the house.
A spokesperson for RCMP told the newspaper that police had been in contact with the teen’s families throughout the investigation and that this had not been the first time they had gone to Schmegelsky’s grandmother’s home. She could not immediately say whether Thursday was the first time items were removed from her home.
“I just hope they get them before anybody else gets hurt and they can answer everybody’s questions because there are so many questions that need answering,” Lisa Lucas, who lives across the street from Schmeglesky's grandmother in Port Alberni, told the Vancouver Sun.
RCMP revealed on Thursday that the two teens were sighted in the Gillam area in Manitoba, noting that they occurred before authorities discovered McLeod and Schmegelsky’s burned-out truck in norther British Columbia last week.
“Over the last 48 hours, we have received 80 tips and we continue to ask the public to remain vigilant,” they added.
Meanwhile, Schmegelsky’s mother Deborah Sweeney, spoke out for the first time in a letter given to the DailyMail.com, making a desperate plea to end the manhunt without further bloodshed.
“Please read this for me. Please. Please,” she wrote. “Bryer is a careing, loving [sic] boy, that would never hurt anyone. He grew up in a loving [sic] home. WE miss, and love him dearly. WE want both boys to come home safe.”
It was signed as “Bryer’s mom.”
Schmegelsky's father, Alan Schmegelsky, said Wednesday that he expected the nationwide manhunt to end in the death of his son, who he said is on "a suicide mission."
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Chris Manseau told Fox News' Shepard Smith on Thursday that officers were "still working in Northern Manitoba, that was the last sighting that we had a couple of days ago so we're gonna focus all of our efforts there."
He warned that the teenagers “had several days head start,” making it harder for officers to capture them.
Gillam is more than 2,000 miles from northern British Columbia, where another burned vehicle was found Friday and where the three people were found slain in two places.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Julie Courchaine told reporters Thursday that the terrain they were searching was unforgiving.
"There's lots of dense bush, forest, swampy area, so it is very challenging," she said.
Police also said Thursday that they were investigating a photograph of Nazi paraphernalia allegedly sent online by one of the suspects. Schmegelsky allegedly sent photographs of a swastika armband and a Hitler Youth knife to an online friend on the video-game network Steam.