Canadian murder suspects were let go after stop at checkpoint

Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod

Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod

Local man Tommy Ste-Croix said he helped two men remove their Toyota RAV4 from the field in the Alberta city of Cold Lake, 150 kilometres to the west of Meadow Lake, where the pair were spotted in the same vehicle later in the day.

Teenagers Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky - who are accused of killing Australian tourist Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese along with Canadian botanist Leonard Dyck - were stopped after blowing through an alcohol checkpoint, according to Canada CTV News.

"I say that only because this morning we saw joggers, we saw some people walking, we saw people on bicycles, we haven't seen that for a few days so I think there's sort of this sense of 'let's get on with it, '" he said.

"They had the opportunity to grab the truck".

Before York Landing, the focus of the search had been in Gillam, where a vehicle believed to have been used by the pair was found burned out. "You don't know if they're in the area or not", the mayor said.

A massive police manhunt for two British Columbia homicide suspects has ended without success in a remote Indigenous community in northern Manitoba.

"A search of the York Landing area, which included the use of helicopters, drones, military resources, and door-to-door canvasses, has been completed", the RCMP said in a statement.

The RCMP-led search effort has already stretched from British Columbia to Saskatchewan to Manitoba, and while there was a reported sighting earlier on Sunday in York Landing, Man., there has not been a confirmed sighting of the pair in more than a week.

They apparently drove 90km west to Gillam, crashed their Toyota RAV4 on a gravel road, set fire to it and vanished.

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The small community of York Landing is located about 90 kilometres southwest of the teens' last known location - Gillam, Man. - but the RCMP said it can only be accessed by plane or a two-hour ferry.

The search of remote areas is being conducted both on foot and from the air.

Police have received more than 260 tips in the past seven days, but none have established that the suspects are outside the Gillam area. Much of the surrounding area is wooded, and there is some speculation the suspects could be hiding in the forest.

The manhunt, which has now spanned three provinces, is into its eighth day.

Sherman Kong, whose Maple Leaf Survival company in Winnipeg teaches wilderness and extreme cold weather survival tactics, said the terrain around Gillam - 660 miles (1,100 kilometers) north of Winnipeg - is dense and swampy.

It is inhabited by wildlife like bears, as well as insects "that are relentless and quite abundant".

There is a possibility the two already may have died from an animal attack, dehydration, a serious injury or other causes, Kong said.

"We weren't aware of their status, of them being wanted", Neckoway said.

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