RCMP getting air support from military in hunt for homicide suspects

The RCMP are getting some help from the Canadian military as they continue the hunt for two young homicide suspects in northern Manitoba.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tweeted last night that the military have been called in to give the Mounties air support in combing the unforgiving terrain around Gillam, Man.

Police have said that Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and his 19-year-old friend Kam McLeod, may have changed their appearance to try to evade the intense manhunt that includes officers from several jurisdictions searching on foot, with dogs and using drones.

The two Port Alberni, B.C., teens are charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, a botany professor at the University of British Columbia, and are suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese. All three homicides happened in northern B.C.

A burned-out RAV4 that Schmegelsky and McLeod were travelling in was found near Gillam this week and police have said there have been no reports of stolen vehicles since.

Mounties are asking anyone who may have unwittingly helped the suspects give police in the area the slip to come forward. Cpl. Julie Courchaine said police aren’t saying that’s what happened, but they aren’t ruling out any possibilities.

“It is possible that someone may not have been aware of who they were providing assistance to, and may now be hesitant to come forward,” she said at an RCMP update in Winnipeg on Friday.

Courchaine urged the public across the country to keep a careful watch out for the pair.

She also stressed there have been no confirmed sightings since one Monday in the Gillam area — an isolated region of bog and bush with one access road — so the search for the two was still focused there.

Courchaine said police were planning to go door to door in Gillam and on the Fox Lake First Nation over the next three days looking for leads.

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