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Suspiciously scruffy: Lots of look-alikes, but no confirmed sightings of B.C. murder suspects in Ontario

Last Updated Aug 1, 2019 at 9:11 am PDT

FILE - Kam McLeod, left, and Bryer Schmegelsky are seen here in handout images from the RCMP. (Source: RCMP)

Search for two suspected killers from B.C. appears to have moved to northern Ontario after unconfirmed sightings

It's been more than a week since the last confirmed sighting of Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod

A recent tip suggested two men who looked similar to the Vancouver Island men were spotted near Kapuskasing

KAPUSKASING, On. (NEWS 1130) – From B.C. to Ontario, the search for two suspected killers from Vancouver Island has now expanded further east.

The Ontario Provincial Police service says there have been a number of calls reporting possible sightings of Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, in that province, but so far, none have panned out.

“We’ve actually received dozens of calls over the last week with sightings,” OPP Acting Sgt. Shona Camirand explains.

While each tip is being investigated, Camirand says so far not a single one has been confirmed.

“No credible sightings of these people in Ontario,” she says. “[Wednesday] night … there was a call in Cochrane that they were in somewhere there. Officers followed up, and it was tree planters.

“Anytime there’s kind of two scruffy males in a vehicle, we’re getting a call,” Camirand says. “But we are following up on every tip.”

Meantime, police are asking people to avoid posting possible sightings on social media, and to instead call them directly.

“It creates chaos, and it’s not productive,” Camirand adds.

With the search scaled back in Manitoba and Ontario police turning up no leads — yet — police are encouraging all Canadians to be on the lookout.

The RCMP announced on Wednesday that the search for the pair was being scaled back in northern Manitoba, where crews have been searching for the suspects in three July killings in northern B.C.

Police and the military combed more than 11,000 square kilometres of marshy wilderness near the community of Gillam — which is about a 2,300 kilometre drive away from Kapuskasing — but turned up nothing.

Hundreds of homes in the area were also canvassed, and despite that, as well as the use of drones and dog teams, the two men from Port Alberni still haven’t been caught.

Schmegelsky and McLeod are charged with second-degree murder in the death of UBC sessional lecturer Leonard Dyck near Dease Lake, B.C. Police also consider the Port Alberni men suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, whose bodies were found along the Alaska Highway, 470 kilometres away from where Dyck and a burned-out truck and trailer were spotted.

All three bodies were found more than two weeks ago.

Mounties in Manitoba said on Wednesday that investigators had received more than 260 tips over the course of about a week. It was believed the pair may have had inadvertent help in leaving the Gillam, Manitoba area.

The RCMP has emphasized that the search in that area is not over, but that resources were being re-deployed.

“To be clear, we are not ending this search,” Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said on Wednesday. “A number of tactical resources and specialized assets will remain positioned in the Gillam area, and will continue the efforts to locate the murder suspects. In addition, all of our resources will be ready to respond to the region, as required, should new information emerge.”

The military has also since pulled out of search efforts, but will be available should the situation change.

-With files from Lasia Kretzel