Teen murder suspects elude cops as search stepped up

Montreal: Heavily armed police with tracker dogs were searching a remote and densely forested area of northern Canada where a pair of teens wanted in three murders are thought to be holed up.
Canadians Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are sought in the murders of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend, Chynna Deese.
The pair have also been charged with the second-degree murder of a third person, identified by police as Leonard Dyck.
All the victims were discovered in northern British Columbia earlier this month, but the suspects have now been tracked hundreds of kilometres away to the northern Manitoba town of Gillam, police said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have sent “a significant amount of resources” to the Gillam area, including tracker dogs, air surveillance, emergency response teams and crisis negotiators, spokeswoman Julie Courchaine said on Thursday.
“We believe they are still in the area,” Courchaine said, citing two separate sightings of the suspects in the Gillam area.
Television footage showed heavily armed officers in camouflage with dogs combing the woods and searching vehicles at road checkpoints.
The suspects were last spotted on Monday before the federal police agency discovered their vehicle in the Gillam area. It had been set on fire.
Although the suspects had not been seen since, Courchaine added that there had been no vehicles reported stolen that could be attributed to the pair.
“Over the last 48 hours we have received over 80 tips and we continue to ask the public to remain vigilant,” she said.
Public Safety Ralph Goodale echoed the sentiment during an event on Thursday. “Canadians can be in absolute confidence that every technique necessary to keep (them) safe is being applied in this case,” he said. Prior to the discovery on Monday of the burnt car, the suspects were last seen in the north of neighbouring Saskatchewan province driving a gray Toyota RAV4.
The agency had earlier warned the public against interacting with McLeod and Schmegelsky.
“If you spot them — take no actions — do not approach — call 911 or your local police immediately,” the RCMP said. The Gillam area is “all swamp, heavy trees,” and occasionally visited by polar bears, the town’s mayor Dwayne Forman told public broadcaster CBC.
“There’s only one road in and one road out,” Forman said. Police said the vast, densely forested area was hard to search. — AFP