(NEW YORK) — A car found burning in the Gillam area of Manitoba, Canada, belongs to the two missing teen suspects wanted in connection to the murders of a young couple from the U.S. and Australia, as well as an unidentified man, Canadian authorities said.
“Based on this information, we have sent a number of resources to the Gillam area,” said Cpl. Julie Courchaine, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, during a Wednesday news conference. “This is a complex, ongoing investigation involving multiple jurisdictions. We are engaged with police forces across Canada. We are investigating all tips and are continuing to ask for the public’s assistance. We are also reminding everyone that these suspects should not be approached and if you do see them, to call 911 or your local police immediately.”
Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, nearly crossed Canada in the last two weeks, according to authorities, starting out from western British Columbia.
They allegedly killed Chynna Deese, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, 23, who is from Australia, near the Liard Hot Springs in British Columbia. Their bodies were found on July 15.
Days later, the duo torched their camper before popping up in Northern Saskatchewan. Then, witnesses placed the duo overnight in Manitoba, more than 2,000 miles from where Deese and Fowler were found dead, police said. There is an ongoing investigation into their link to a still-unidentified man who’d been found dead nearby.
Chief Walter Spence, of Fox Lake Cree Nation, which is northeast of Gillam, said in a statement Tuesday that a burned and discarded car had been found nearby on that day, according to CTV News. Before Wednesday’s news conference, authorities had tweeted that they had reason to believe the pair were in the Gillam area but would not confirm that the car was linked to them.
Schmegelsky’s father, Alan Schmegelsky, told the Times Colonist that his son was a “good kid.”
“I don’t know what to think anymore,” Alan Schmegelsky said. “I’m in disbelief. I didn’t see any signs of violence.”
He said that his son was interested in air-soft pellet guns but that he did not believe his son ever shot a real gun, according to the Times Colonist. He said Bryer Schmegelsky would play war games in the woods with friends.
“That was their outdoor video game. You know, a real-life video game,” he said.
In a statement to ABC News, McLeod’s father, Keith McLeod, said in a statement: “To the people who truly care; I am sitting at home worrying about my son. Relentless media [are] hounding us for answers we don’t have. My family and I do know that Kam is a kind, considerate and caring young man who has always been concerned about other people’s feelings. As we are trapped in our homes due to media people, we try to wrap her head around what is happening. We hope that Kam will come home to us safely so we can all get to the bottom of this story.”
“I am staying close to the phone because I don’t want to miss a call if it is word about Kam,” he said.
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