By The Canadian Press
SURREY, B.C. — The RCMP will release its investigative findings on Friday into the murders of three people in northern British Columbia that sparked a manhunt for two teenage suspects across Western Canada.
Bryer Schmegelsky, who was 18, and 19-year-old Kam McLeod were found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wounds last month in the wilderness of northern Manitoba.
Before their deaths, the teens were charged with the murder of Leonard Dyck, a University of British Columbia botany lecturer, and were also suspects in the deaths of American Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler.
Police have said it appears Schmegelsky and McLeod were dead for a number of days before their bodies were found on Aug. 7.
The RCMP committed to publicly sharing the details of its investigation after providing the families in the case with an update.
Police said two firearms were found with the dead men.
The manhunt began July 23 when police announced Schmegelsky and McLeod were suspects in the deaths.
The young men had initially been considered missing persons when a truck and camper they were driving was found burned a few kilometres from where Dyck’s body was discovered at a highway pullout on July 15.
The bodies of Deese and Fowler were found near the Alaska Highway, 470 kilometres from where Dyck’s body was discovered, on July 19.
The manhunt for McLeod and Schmegelsky led to Gillam, Man., where Dyck’s Toyota Rav 4 was found burned. Officers converged on the area to begin what would be a two-week search.
Police used drones, dogs and even had help from the Canadian Armed Forces to scour the remote area.
The search was scaled back July 31 and a few days later a damaged rowboat was found in the Nelson River. A search of the river turned up little of interest, police said.
On Aug. 6, police said some items linked to Schmegelsky and McLeod were found on the river’s shore. The bodies were discovered the next day, about a kilometre from where police said they found the items.