Officers look through a remote lake area alongside a landed helicopter in the Gillam, Man., area in July 28, 2019, police image published to social media. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police photo)

Military pulls back, RCMP ‘scales down’ manhunt for B.C. murder suspects

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky have been on the run from police for more than two weeks

The Canadian military has pulled out from the manhunt in northern Manitoba, as RCMP “scale down” the search for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky – two Port Alberni men wanted in three homicides in northern B.C.

RCMP said Wednesday that the two aircrafts supplied by the Canadian Forces are no longer needed. The C-130H Hercules and CP-140 Aurora were brought into assist with infrared aerial searches as investigators faced challenging terrain, swampy areas and thick bushes.

At a press conference Wednesday, Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said they searched 1,000 sq. km. in northern Manitoba, as well as 500 homes.

“We conducted exhaustive searches,” MacLatchy.

“Over 250 tips were received and followed up on.”

But despite this, there have been no sightings since RCMP found the stolen vehicle the two suspects torched near Gillam Monday.

“To be clear, we are not ending this search,” MacLatchy.

Resources will stay in the area and more will be deployed as needed, she added.

“I know this news is not what the families of the victims and the people of northern Manitoba wanted to hear,” MacLatchy acknowledged.

“We would really like to find these suspects [and] we’ve pulled out all the stop on this thing… I have no regrets.”

READ MORE: Investigators focus hunt for suspected B.C. killers back to Gillam, Man.

The ongoing search, which has piqued the nation’s interest, entered into its ninth day Wednesday. McLeod and Schmegelsky have been charged in the second-degree murder of Leonard Dyck, of Vancouver, and are wanted in connection to the shooting deaths of Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler.

On Tuesday, investigators announced they would be withdrawing from York Landing, Man., after being unable to substantiate a tip that the wanted fugitives were spotted in the area. This means their last known whereabouts were in Gillam, Man., on July 22.

“A search of the York Landing area, which included the use of helicopters, drones, military resources, and door to door canvasses, has been completed,” Mounties said.

“The RCMP thanks the community for their patience and understanding, and continues to remind residents to remain vigilant.”

– With files from Katya Slepian


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kindness catches on in Aldergrove amid cold weather

From shoveling to jump starts, many residents acted to ensure the safety of others

Snowy freeway crashes in Aldergrove ‘overwhelm’ fire crews

Luckily, no firefighters were seriously injured during last week’s weather warnings

Kodiaks clock another win in mad dash for playoffs

The bears took down the White Rock Whalers 5-4 in overtime

Borrow $8 billion for Fraser Valley rail link, Abbotsford mayor urges province

Henry Braun urges province to borrow billions to connect Abbotsford & Chilliwack to Metro Vancouver

Victoria police arrest 12 anti-pipeline protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Pooches Jasper and Jake bring comfort to Abbotsford Police Department

Comfort dogs there for cuddles and play time when needed

One dead following pedestrian collision in South Surrey’s Campbell Heights

Incident occurred just after 7 a.m. on 24 Avenue near 188 Street

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Most Read