Northern B.C. murders: RCMP redirect manhunt to Manitoba’s York Landing

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RCMP says its moving “multiple resources” to York Landing, Manitoba, after two B.C. murder suspects were spotted scavenging at a landfill.

Police are responding to a tip the pair was spotted in the community, Manitoba RCMP said on Twitter. “A heavy police presence can be expected in the area,” it said.

Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, are wanted in connection with three homicides earlier this month in northern British Columbia.

York Landing is around 200 kilometres southwest of Gillam, Manitoba, where RCMP and the military have been focusing their search efforts over the last week.

Police closed in on the community after security patrollers saw two men scavenging at the local dump.

Bear Patrol Inc. executive director James Favel said his company had been asked to send staff in to assist communities in the search area when patrollers saw two young men with no weapons or backpacks at the dump. All they had were the clothes they were wearing what what the team could see.

When the pair saw the security team, “they bolted,” Favel said. The pair ran for trees and the patrol called police.

“All hell is breaking loose and the town is locked down,” Favel said.

He said the team weren’t worried as they initially thought the pair might be a work crew. IT was the absence of a work truck that made them suspicious, he said.

“The adrenaline hit,” he said.

There is a heavy police presence in the region, RCMP said in a tweet Sunday.

York Factory Cree Nation Chief Leroy Constant of asked residents to stay inside with their doors locked.

“We received word that there was a possible sighting around our community landfill moments ago,” he tweeted Sunday afternoon.

RCMP urged the public not to disclose the locations of its officers by posting photos to social media.

McLeod and Schmegelsky are charged with second-degree murder in the death of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck of Vancouver. Dyck’s body was found at a highway pullout two kilometres from where the teens’ burned-out Dodge pickup truck was found on Highway 37 near Dease Lake on July 19.

The pair are also suspects in the killings of 23-year-old Lucas Fowler of Sydney, Australia, and 24-year-old Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina. Their bodies were discovered July 15 beside the Alaska Highway, 20 kilometres south of Liard Hot Springs. No charges have yet been announced in that investigation.

RCMP, with the help of police dogs and the military, had spent the last week searching homes, cottages, cabins, abandoned buildings, rail lines and waterways searching for the teens. Their efforts were bolstered on Saturday when a Canadian Air Force CC-130H Hercules airplane landed in Gillam.

More to come.