Band Constables stopped McLeod and Schmegelsky but let them go
Manitoba RCMP have called off the search in York Landing for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky who are wanted for the murders of three people.
The heavy police presence in York Landing has been withdrawn and policing resources in the community will return to normal, RCMP said on Twitter.
York Landing is 200 km southwest by car from Gillam. There are 62 km of train tracks and trails that connect the two communities.
As the manhunt went into the eighth day on Tuesday, police still didn’t find any clues that the suspects were there.
The focus shifted to York Landing after a member of the Bear Clan community patrol group from Winnipeg said they spotted two people who matched the description of the fugitives near a landfill.
RCMP immediately deployed multiple resources to the small First Nations community, including the Emergency Response Team, Police Dog Services, Containment Team members, Major Crime Services and Air Services assets.
Manitoba RCMP are now refocusing their attention back to the Gillam area after the latest tip turned up empty.
The RCMP-led search effort for McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, who are from Port Alberni, has traversed from British Columbia to Saskatchewan to Manitoba.
They are wanted by BC RCMP for the killings of Australian Lucas Fowler, his girlfriend Chynna Deese and Leonard Dyck of Vancouver. All three were murdered along highways in northern British Columbia.
The police have confirmed the suspects were in Split Lake last week at a local gas station before a sighting in the Gillam area.
First Nations Band Constables from the Tataskweyak Cree Nation near Split Lake, stopped McLeod and Schmegelsky, but let them go.
They were stopped as part of a routine alcohol check in the dry community as they drove through the reserve.
Band Constable Albert Saunders described to DailyMailTV how the teens drove past him and his partner Morgan Spence at a traffic checkpoint in the 2011 grey Toyota RAV4 on July 22. Saunders said they saw their truck in pursuit and pulled over. He and his partner then inspected the vehicle.
Saunders only found survival gear and maps when he searched the car. He did not see any weaponry.
They were let go because news of their alleged triple murder spree had not reached his small town in Manitoba said Saunders.
Police haven’t said who owned the RAV4. The Northern Plains Freelancer was told by RCMP on Monday, that part of the investigation is still ongoing. The burnt-out vehicle was found on July 23, close to the Fox Lake Cree Nation reserve north of Gillam.
Surveillance footage captured the wanted teens at a hardware store in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan on July 21.
Canada-wide warrants have been issued for McLeod and Schmegelsky.
The RCMP continues to remind the public that it is possible the suspects inadvertently received assistance and are no longer in the area.
If they are spotted, do not approach, call 9-1-1 or your local police immediately.
Kam McLeod is described as 6’4″ tall, approximately 169 pounds, dark brown hair, facial hair and brown eyes.
Bryer Schmegelsky is also 6’4″ and 169 pounds with sandy brown hair.
They may have changed their appearance.