Canada manhunt teens sighted, arrested: report
LOCALS at a tiny river town in rural Canada are reporting hearing gunshots amid reports two fugitive teens have been sighted there.
Reports out of York Landing, Manitoba, say Bryer Schmegelsky, 18 and Kam McLeod, 19, were spotted scavenging for food before fleeing into thick trees.
Unconfirmed reports began circulating on social media that the pair had been caught. A video purported to show police taking one of the suspects into custody, but Royal Canadian Mounted Police say the search is still ongoing.
Locals on the ground in York Landing say 2 men thought to be the fugitive teenagers spotted by Bear Clan members. They men ran into the bush, pursued by armed locals. York Landing resident heard 3 shots fired. Others now say the 2 suspects have been caught. #manitobamanhunt— Josh Boswell (@JoshTBoswell) July 29, 2019
There's an unconfirmed video floating around that purports to show the Canada suspects being taken into custody but I'm not retweeting it because RCMP asked people not to post video of police activity on social media (and also because it's unconfirmed)— Steve Lookner (@lookner) July 29, 2019
The unfolding situation and uncertainty around the pair's whereabouts has become difficult for authorities to keep a lid on. They have asked social media users to stop sharing information that could help the teens escape.
"Please do not disclose officer locations by posting photos of our officers in the community on social media," RMCP Manitoba tweeted.
Locals in York Landing, which borders Split Lake, say they were told to stay inside their homes as police responded to reports the pair had been spotted searching for food. Bear Clan Patrol - a non-violent volunteer group - made the sighting.
The group's James Favel told reporters the pair were scavenging for food near a dump about 4.15pm local time and that they fled into thick trees when they were spotted.
York Landing, halfway between Lake Winnipeg and Hudson Bay, is home to less than 500 people. It is serviced by ferries which leave every few hours on a two-hour trip to Split Lake.
Leroy Constant, Chief of the York Factory First Nation, said RCMP officers and crew were heading to the area shortly after 5pm local time.
"Everyone please remain indoors with your doors locked," he wrote on Facebook.
Multiple RCMP resources are being sent to York Landing, MB, to investigate a tip that the two suspects are possibly in, or near, the community. A heavy police presence can be expected in the area. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) July 28, 2019
Please do not disclose officer locations by posting photos of our officers in the community to social media.— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) July 28, 2019
"And all vehicles should be parked. Please share the message with those who don't have social media.
"We received word that there was a possible sighting around our community landfill moments ago."
The pair are wanted over the murders of Australian backpacker Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese and university professor Leonard Dyck, 64 on highways in British Columbia this month.
This morning sightings of the pair were coming in thick and fast, prompting authorities to move the search area from Gillam to York Landing.
RCMP Manitoba issued an advance warning for locals to expect a sudden and heavy police presence in their area but told residents not to post photos of the manhunt or disclose their location.
Over the weekend, police carried out a door knock in Gillam, where the teen's last known getaway car was found abandoned and torched in dense bushland near a rail line in Gillam last Monday.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police searched every room of every house in the tiny town of 1,200 people, as well as hundreds of abandoned buildings in the area.
Police are working on the theory that after the teens torched the small SUV they used to cross the country, they can't have got far. Police believe they are either hiding in town or on the outskirts - a swampy area known to be particularly inhospitable.
Locals say conditions are brutal, and the suspects, if on foot and unprepared, would have difficulty surviving. A number of bears have been spotted by officers canvassing the area.
Military aircraft were called in over the weekend to join a fleet of vehicles including armoured cars. Drones are flying overhead and tracker dogs are leading officers on the ground.
Police have received more than 200 tips from members of the public that suggest Schmegelsky and McLeod are still in Gillam, but they have not ruled out the possibility the teens altered their appearances and slipped out of the region altogether.
What we know about their journey so far is they quit their jobs at Walmart in Port Alberni on the country's west coast and made purchases for a 1700km drive to Yukon territory on July 12.
They told family they were looking to make some "real money". They travelled to Whitehorse, where they contacted relatives before they fell off the radar.
On the night of July 14 or the morning of July 15, police say Schmegelsky and McLeod murdered Mr Fowler, 23, and Ms Deese, 24. They dumped the pair's bodies in a grassy area next to their broken down Chevrolet van.
More to come.