Bryer Schmegelsky, 18 and Kam McLeod, 19, are still missing. Picture: RCMP
Bryer Schmegelsky, 18 and Kam McLeod, 19, are still missing. Picture: RCMP

Fresh clues found in Canada manhunt

CANADIAN police have found several items on a riverbank that are linked to the teenagers suspected of killing an Australian boyfriend, his US partner and another man.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a release this morning the items were found along the Nelson River in Manitoba approximately 9km from where they left a burnt-out vehicle on July 22.

It comes after cops searched the river near Gillam, Manitoba over the weekend after a damaged aluminium boat was discovered there Friday.

Police haven't yet said what the new items were.

The discovery comes days after police said they were scaling back the search for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, which at its peak involved tracker dogs, a drone and search planes equipped with infra-red cameras.

The teens are wanted in connection with the murder of Aussie Lucas Fowler, 23, and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, who were found shot dead alongside the Alaska Highway in northern British Columbia on July 15.

 

The teens have also been charged with the murder of Leonard Dyck, 64, a Canadian biology professor, whose body police found later also in northern British Columbia.

 

Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Julie Courchaine said they are investigating all possibilities including the possibility that the suspects might have drowned.

She said there is no evidence to directly link the battered aluminium boat discovered on Friday to the two suspects but said the items they found nearby are linked to them.

A police helicopter initially spotted the boat and a follow-up search in the area uncovered the items directly linked to the two.

"This is very challenging terrain," she told reporters.

After police divers found the boat on the shore of the Nelson River, cops said they wouldn't be carrying out any more dives.

"The Underwater Recovery Team has completed their work following the discovery of a boat on the shore of the Nelson River," the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement on Twitter on Friday.

 

 

"They will not be conducting any additional dives. A police roadblock has been put in place today in the Sundance, MB, area for ongoing search efforts," it added.

Police had not ruled out that the two fugitives may have died in the inhospitable region of swamps and dense forests, home to swarms of biting insects and bears.

But it's believed the pair may have dodged the huge manhunt and escaped the area.

On Friday, hundreds of people gathered at a Sydney service to remember Aussie tourist Mr Fowler.

The details of the tragic circumstances surrounding Lucas and Chynna's deaths and the ongoing search for their suspected murderers have made global news, but during the service these details were deliberately not touched on.

Lucas's father Steven Fowler told those gathered he and his family never had a chance to meet Chynna, but "she stole Lucas's heart and she became part of our family," he said.

"They were full of happiness and joy just being together," he said.

"We are so happy that they found each other and had such a great time travelling together. They touched the hearts of everyone they met. Lucas lived a life that many of us envy."

 

With wires

- more to come


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