News that RCMP in Manitoba have likely discovered the bodies of two B.C. fugitives that have been the subject of a Canada-wide manhunt is “absolutely devastating,” says Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions.
Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, both of Port Alberni, were suspected in the deaths of three people innorthern B.C. in mid-July.
They were last seen on July 22 near Gillam, Man., and since then, the RCMP, the military and countless others have conducted an intense cross-country search that covered more than 11,000 square kilometres.
“We are definitely saddened by the news today, as a city and as a community. It’s definitely not the outcome that we hadhopedfor,” Minions said.
“No matter how you look at it, there has been so much tragedy. This has affected people across the country, and acrosstheworld. We’re thankful the search at least has come to a conclusion.”
Minions said she has not reached out to the young men’s families yet.
“Over the last couple of weeks, I have tried to respect their privacy. But I am planning to reach out now,” she said.
The families of McLeod and Schmegelsky were not available for comment on Wednesday.
“We request that you respect privacy at this time, by keeping off our property and not ringing the door bell or banging onour door,” a sign on Schmegelsky’s grandmother’s door said.
“We will not be making any statement.”
Gillam Mayor Dwayne Forman said it’s not a surprise they were found dead.
“This is non-forgiving terrain … there was a lot of speculation this was likely to be the outcome,” he said. “The closure is here for Gillam and the Fox Lake area. But the closure for the victims’ families is far from over.”
– with files from The Canadian Press