Canadian police have confirmed two bodies found in remote Manitoba are those of fugitives Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, the teens suspected of killing Australian man Lucas Fowler and two others last month.
McLeod, 19 and Schmegelsky, whose 19th birthday was on August 4, from Port Alberni, B.C., were facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer from Vancouver.
On Wednesday morning, police located the two bodies within a kilometre from where the items were found and approximately 9km from where they left a burnt-out vehicle on July 22. Forensic specialists are working to confirm whether the weapons are connected with the homicides.
On July 23, authorities named McLeod and Schmegelsky as suspects in the killings.
Police believe McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, were dead for several days before they were found.
The teenagers were later charged with murder in Dyck's death.
Police scoured more than 11,000 square kilometres in northern Manitoba - an area about twice the size of P.E.I.
They are now examining the guns to see if they were the same weapons used to shoot dead Australian tourist Lucas Fowler, his USA girlfriend Chynna Deese and botanist Leonard Dyck.
Schmegelsky's father, Alan Schmegelsky, said earlier he had expected the nationwide manhunt to end in his son's death, who he said was on a "suicide mission."
"Under the Fatality Inquiries Act, there's a few procedures that need to be carried out in order for us to ... say with absolute certainty that these are the two people", Manaigre said.
"There may never be enough information to adequately answer all of their questions, but our council remains committed to supporting the RCMP as they complete their investigation into what led to this tragic series of events", Mayor Sharie Minions said. Then, if they had been proven to have committed the murders, they could serve long prison sentences not only for the murders but also for the terror that these northern communities felt as they became the focus of the search.
RCMP search an area near Gillam, MB.in this photo posted to their Twitter page on July 30, 2019. couple.
A police helicopter initially spotted a damaged boat along the Nelson River about two weeks ago and a follow-up search in the area uncovered the items directly linked to the two in what authorities described as very challenging terrain. The Mounties would not disclose what the items are but say they were found nine kilometres from the vehicle they were driving. Police say Schmegelsky and McLeod appeared to have been dead for a number of days before their bodies were found but the exact time of their deaths isn't known.