VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The father of one of two Canadian men wanted in the killings of a young American woman, her Australian boyfriend and a Canadian man said Wednesday that he doesn’t believe his son will survive the manhunt.
The comments came the same day authorities charged Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, with one count of second degree murder in the death of Leonard “Len” Dyck of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dyck’s body was found Friday, July 19, though authorities were unable to identify him and released a composite sketch of the man.
“As a result of the charges, Canada-wide warrants have been issued,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Department said in a news release. “… RCMP investigators across the country continue to share information with other law enforcement agencies as the suspects remain at large.”
There are concurrent investigations underway in Saskatchewan and Manitoba into reported sightings of the two teens, the news release said.
Authorities have been searching for McLeod and Schmegelsky since last week. Initially, the two were believed to be missing. Now, the RCMP say they are suspects in the shooting deaths of Dyck, as well as Chynna Noelle Deese, a 24-year-old American, and Lucas Robertson Fowler, her 23-year-old Australian boyfriend.
Go out in a ‘blaze of glory’
In an emotionally charged interview with CNN news partner CTV News, Alan Schmegelsky said his son has been dealing with mental anguish and plans to go out in “a blaze of glory.”
“A normal child doesn’t travel across the country, killing people. A child in some very serious pain does,” he said.
Schmegelsky described his son as an introvert, saying he played a lot of video games.
He said McLeod and his son were good friends, who hung out a lot together.
Both had jobs at Walmart, but said they weren’t making enough money, and decided to go to Alberta to look for work, he said.
“I believed that’s what they were going to do, and I was absolutely flabbergasted to learn that two days later, and I found this out from the paper,” he said.
Schmegelsky said he believes the RCMP will “shoot first and ask questions later.”
“Basically, he’s going to be dead today or tomorrow. I know that,” he told CTV. “Rest in peace, Bryer. I love you. I’m so sorry all this had to happen. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t rescue you.”
Police say the two are ‘armed and dangerous’
McLeod and Schmegelsky are considered armed and dangerous, and members of the public should not approach them, authorities said. They were last seen in northern Saskatchewan — about a day’s drive east of where the bodies were found — driving a gray 2011 Toyota RAV4, authorities said. The pair may now be in Manitoba, east of Saskatchewan, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
The Manitoba RCMP confirmed Wednesday they had recovered the Toyota the suspects had used. They found it near the town of Gillam.
“The two may being using a different vehicle, on foot, or even traveling separately. If they are spotted, do not approach. Call 911 or your local police immediately,” the RCMP said.
The RCMP have dispatched more officers to the area and set up an informational checkpoint at the road leading into town, RCMP Cpl. Julie Courchaine said.
McLeod is 6′, 4″tall, 169 pounds, and has dark hair, facial hair, and brown eyes. Schmegelsky is 6′, 4″ tall and 169 pounds with sandy hair, police said.
They are suspected in the shooting deaths of Deese and Fowler, whose bodies were found on July 15 about 12 miles south of Liard Hot Springs in northern British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
Fowler was living in British Columbia, and they were exploring the area while Deese was visiting him, RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said. Deese’s mother, Sheila Deese, said the couple had been on a road trip through Canada up to Alaska.
‘His death has created unthinkable grief’
Police found Dyck’s body several days later about a mile from where a vehicle and camper belonging to McLeod and Schmegelsky were found burning on the side of Highway 37.
Authorities declined to say what new information led them to name the two as suspects, but it came just a day after the RCMP said it was a “possible” that their disappearance was related to the couple’s death.
The men, both from Port Alberni, were traveling through British Columbia to the Yukon Territory to look for work, the RCMP had said.
The RCMP did not say how Dyck was identified, but his family was notified.
“We are truly heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss of Len,” a statement from his family said. “His death has created unthinkable grief, and we are struggling to understand what has happened. While we understand there will be interest in knowing more about him and the impact he had during his life, we are asking for the public and the media to please respect our privacy during this difficult time.”