WINNIPEG, Canada – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed on Aug. 12 that two suspects wanted in the death of a 2017 Appalachian State graduate, her boyfriend and another man in northern British Columbia died as the result of suicide.
“The Manitoba medical examiner has completed the autopsies and confirmed that the two deceased men located in Manitoba on Aug. 7, were Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky,” the Manitoba RCMP stated on Aug. 12. “Their next of kin have been notified and they have been offered support.”
“The RCMP can also confirm that the two died in what appears to be suicides,” the Manitoba RCMP continued. “While both individuals were deceased for a number of days before they were found, the exact time and date of their deaths are not known.”
The bodies of the two suspects had been found along a northern Manitoba river on Aug. 7 following a three-week-plus nationwide manhunt.
McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, both of Port Alberni, Canada, were the prime suspects in the deaths of Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23, of Australia, and Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, of Charlotte, which took place near Liard River in British Columbia on either July 14 or 15.
Deese received a bachelor’s degree in psychology in spring 2017, as confirmed by ASU spokesperson Megan Hayes, and was a member of ASU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority chapter.
The two were exploring the area and at the location of the murders, were sitting on the side of the road near their van after the engine flooded, according to media reports. The two were the victims of gun violence, according to the British Columbia RCMP.
McLeod and Schmegelsky were also wanted in connection with the death of Leonard Dyck, 64, of Vancouver, who was discovered on July 19 near Dease Lake in British Columbia, approximately 290 miles by car from where Fowler and Deese were found. According to the RCMP, the two suspects drove Dyck’s vehicle to Manitoba, where it was discovered on fire around five miles from where the suspects’ bodies were eventually discovered days later.
“Investigators are now assessing all items located in Manitoba, along with the previous findings related to the three northern British Columbia homicide investigations, in order to gain more clarity into what happened to Dyck, Fowler and Deese,” the Manitoba RCMP Aug. 12 statement said. “The assessment will review all the investigative findings to date, whether it is statements, evidentiary time lines, physical or digital evidence, and the British Columbia RCMP have also have engaged our Behavioural Analysis Unit.”
The Aug. 7 discovery of the two bodies believed to be McLeod and Schemgelsky in northern Manitoba followed Aug. 2 leads of a burned vehicle, later confirmed to belong to Dyck, along the Nelson River near Gillam, along with a damaged boat found nearby and items directly linked to the suspects.
Gillam, a small town in northern Manitoba of 1,200 people, is an estimated 1,800 miles by car from Liard River and approximately 2,100 miles by car from Dease Lake.
The national manhunt followed tips in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where police and military forces searched the towns of Gillam and York Landing, plus the Cree Nation reservation at Fox Lake and the War Lake First Nation reservation in Ilford, according to the Manitoba RCMP.