Police are withdrawing from a small indigenous community in northern Manitoba after a thorough search involving military aircraft, drones, and sniffer dogs failed to locate two young men linked to three murders in British Columbia.
On Monday, RCMP announced they were unable to find 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, 19, of York Landing, Man. after receiving "credible advice" the couple were in the area.
The First Nation community is located approximately 200 kilometers southwest of Gillam, Man. where the manhunt was concentrated last week following the discovery of a burnt-out SUV used by the suspects on July 22.
Todd Battis of CTV News reported that police returned to Gillam on Monday evening following the failed search at York Landing. He said there were a few officers left in York Landing, but most of them returned to Gillam.
During the search, Battis said he testified that RCMP use drones, canine units, ATVs, two different types of military aircraft, helicopters and ships.
"The fact that they had so many resources yesterday, perhaps, signals that they really do not know where these children are," he speculated on Tuesday morning.
It's unclear where the search will go as police will gather in Gillam. Battis said, at this point, it's hard to believe the two men are still hiding in the dense bush surrounding the community.
"It was 5am in the morning, very cold," he said. "It was raining. It was very hot in the afternoon. The mistakes were brutal. Yesterday we saw black bears in the area where they were reportedly seen. There are wolves. There are polar bears. It is all swamps and lakes. If they were walking on foot, they would once they would be wet. ”
Battis said the man who said he spotted them at York Landing said they were wearing the same clothes they had seen before, which was just a T-shirt and a long-sleeved shirt.
Schmegelsky and McLeod evaded authorities more than a week after RCMP named them as suspects in the fatal shooting of Australian Lucas Fowler, 23, and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24 weeks ago.
The couple's bodies were discovered on the side of the Alaska Highway in northern B.C., about 20 miles south of the popular tourist spot Liard Hot Springs.
The juveniles were also charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, a 64-year-old professor at the University of British Columbia, whose body was found at a highway tug located approximately 470 kilometers southwest of where Fowler and Deese were. were killed.
As for how Gillam residents deal with the extended handheld, Battis said it seems that at the time there was more frustration than fear.
"I say that only because this morning we saw junkers, we saw some people walking, we saw people cycling, we didn't see that a few days ago, so I think there's such a sense of continuing it," ; " he said.