Teens wanted in killings likely afoot in rough terrain

Security camera images recorded in Saskatchewan of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are displayed as Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett steps away from the podium after speaking during a news conference in Surrey, British Columbia, on  July 23, 2019. RCMP say two British Columbia teenagers who were first thought to be missing are now considered suspects in the deaths of three people in northern British Columbia.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say two teens wanted in connection with three killings in British Columbia have been spotted twice in the rugged area of northeast Manitoba — 2,000 miles away — where they apparently escaped on foot after burning their car.

Authorities, who are using drones, dogs and armed police in their search, were first alerted to search the Gillam area for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, after their burned-out car was found Monday near the small town of Gillam, population 1,200.

The two sightings, which police say have been corroborated, took place before the car was discovered, according to RCMP Cpl. Julie Courchaine.

There is only one road in and out of Gillam, which is situated alongside Stephens Lake near a hydroelectric dam, leading authorities to believe the pair likely fled into the wilderness on foot. Courchaine noted Thursday that there have been no reports of stolen vehicles that could be tied to the fugitives.

Courchaine described the terrain around Gillam as unforgiving. “There’s lots of dense bush, forest, swampy area, so it is very challenging,” she said.

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