Breaking News Emails
As the manhunt for two Canadian teenagers suspected in at least three deaths enters its second week, police have announced a door-to-door canvas of the small rural town where the two young men are believed to be hiding out.
Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are suspects in the deaths of American Chynna Deese, her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, and a third man identified by police Wednesday as Leonard Dyck, a lecturer in botany at the University of British Columbia.
Download the NBC News app for breaking news
Here's everything we know about the Canadian killing spree and the teenage suspects.
The deaths of Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler
The bodies of Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, and Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23, were found just before 7:20 a.m. on July 15 along Alaska Highway 97 near Liard Hot Springs, a tourist attraction, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Police have not confirmed the cause of death but said the couple appeared to have been shot.
The couple, who met while Deese was working at a hostel in Croatia, were beginning a road trip when they died, according to Deese's brother. British Deese told NBC News that the two were experienced travelers who visited numerous countries without incident.
"It really must have been something to catch them off guard and some form of just terrible evil that should not exist in this world," he said. "I just hope they get caught, and I hope this never happens to anyone else like this."
A car fire leads to a third body
Canadian police said Monday they were searching for McLeod and Schmegelsky, whose burning car was discovered days earlier about 30 miles south of Dease Lake. The location is about 300 miles from where the bodies of Deese and Fowler were found.
While investigating the burning car, the RCMP found the body of a man about a mile away. That man was later identified as Leonard Dyck, a lecturer in botany at the University of British Columbia.
Dyck's family said in a statement released by RCMP that they were "heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss of Len" and asked that the media respect their privacy.
"He was a loving husband and father," the statement said. "His death has created unthinkable grief, and we are struggling to understand what has happened."
Police said at the time that McLeod and Schmegelsky, both of Port Alberni, British Columbia, were being looked into as missing persons. The teens were traveling to Whitehorse in the Yukon to look for work and had not been in contact with their families for a few days.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Chris Manseau said that he was unsure whether the deaths and missing teens were connected "but it is very unusual for that area, especially in such a remote area."
Teens named suspects, and a manhunt begins
Authorities announced Tuesday that McLeod and Schmegelsky were being investigated as suspects in the three deaths after they were spotted in northern Saskatchewan.
The RCMP charged the two teens with a count of second-degree murder in connection to Dyck's death and nationwide arrest warrants were issued in Canada.
"Kam and Bryer are no longer considered missing," RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said Tuesday. "The RCMP are now considering Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky as suspects in the Dease Lake suspicious death and the double homicide of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese."
The 2011 Toyota Rav 4 the teenage suspects were last seen driving in was found in flames Monday in the Gillam, Manitoba, area, authorities said. Gillam is more than 2,000 miles from northern British Columbia, where the three deaths and the original car fire was reported.
Father warns his son is 'on a suicide mission'
Alan Schmegelsky told The Canadian Press that son Bryer Schmegelsky is in pain and had a difficult childhood after his parents divorced.
“He's on a suicide mission. He wants his pain to end,” Alan Schmegelsky told the Canadian news outlet. “He's going to be dead today or tomorrow. I know that."
"They're going to go out in a blaze of glory. Trust me on this. That's what they're going to do," he said.
While McLeod and Schmegelsky remain at large, police said there would be an increased police presence in the Gillam area and a door-to-door canvas of the small rural town. RCMP authorities in Manitoba said Friday that they were looking into whether the two teens had changed their appearances and left Gillam.
“Our investigators are also exploring the possibility that the suspects may have inadvertently received assistance in leaving the area," RCMP Cpl. Julie Courchaine said Friday. "To restate, there have been no confirmed sightings outside of the Gillam area, however we remain open to the possibility."
RCMP authorities have pleaded with the public to come forward with any tips but warned to keep a distance from the teens as they should be considered dangerous.