Jane MacLatchy, the commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP, said officers located two male bodies in dense brush Wednesday morning, within one kilometre from where they had previously found items “directly linked” to the suspects.
MacLatchy said an autopsy has been scheduled to confirm the identities and cause of death, but police feel confident it is Schmegelsky and McLeod. There had been no confirmed sightings of the pair since July 22.
Police searched the town of Gillam, Man. for nearly a week, then focused their efforts on the Nelson River after a damaged aluminum boat was found on its shore. Before that, a burned-out Toyota RAV4 had been discovered, approximately eight kilometres from where the bodies were eventually found.
McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, were wanted in connection to three murders. Chynna Deese, a 24-year-old American and her boyfriend Lucas Fowler, a 23-year-old Australian, were found shot to death on July 15 on the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs, B.C.
The body of Vancouver man Leonard Dyck was found 470 kilometres from Deese and Fowler, near a truck the suspects has abandoned and set on fire. They had been charged with second-degree murder in Dyck’s death.
MacLatchy thanked residents of the Gillam area and RCMP officers for the long, intensive search.
“Your lives have been disrupted,” she said. “Many of you lived with uncertainty and fear.”
“But throughout, you were resilient, you came together as communities and you helped our officers get the job done.”