(NEW YORK) — Canadian authorities believe two teens wanted for multiple murders died by suicide.
Autopsy results released on Monday confirmed that the bodies found near the shoreline of the Nelson River in Manitoba, Canada, last week were those of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, who were at the center of a nationwide manhunt after being named suspects in multiple murders, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. The suspects died in what appeared to be suicide by gunfire.
“While both individuals were deceased for a number of days before they were found, the exact time and date of their deaths are not known,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement. “However, there are strong indications that they had been alive for a few days since last seen in July and during the extensive search efforts in the Gillam area.”
Police also found two firearms with the teens’ bodies and are working to confirm that the weapons are connected to the murders in question.
The pair were wanted on warrants for second-degree murder in connection with the death of a man whose body was found along a highway near Dease Lake in northwest Canada on July 19. McLeod and Schmegelsky had not been seen since July 22, just before police discovered their charred vehicle in a remote area.
The teens’ truck camper was found in flames about 1.2 miles away from the body, identified as 64-year-old Leonard Dyck of Vancouver, according to police.
The teens, both Canadian, were also considered suspects in the shooting deaths of 24-year-old American Chynna Deese and her 23-year-old Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, whose bodies were discovered July 15 along a highway near Liard Hot Springs, also in northwest Canada.
Canadian police had sent divers into a river earlier this month to search for signs of the two suspects after discovering “several items” along the banks of the Nelson River, as well as a damaged aluminum boat, while conducting a helicopter search over Canada’s northeast Manitoba province. Those items, which police confirmed were “directly linked to the suspects,” were located six miles from where a burning vehicle belonging to the teens was found weeks ago, police said.
“The Manitoba RCMP have completed their search of the area were the two male bodies were discovered, approximately 8 km from where Mr. Dyck’s burnt RAV4 was located on July 22, 2019,” police said Monday. “Investigators are now assessing all items located in Manitoba, along with the previous findings related to the three northern BC homicide investigations, in order to gain more clarity into what happened to Leonard Dyck, Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese.”
A review will be completed within the next few weeks, officials said.
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