Manitoba RCMP say they've received 80 tips over the past two days about teenage fugitives Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.
The two Port Alberni residents have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of UBC botany instructor Len Dyck south of Dease Lake.
Dyck's body was found on July 19 two kilometres from a burned-out pickup truck that McLeod and Schmegelsky had been travelling in from the Yukon.
Police suspect that the two men are still near the remote Manitoba community of Gillam, which has a population of 1,200.
They travelled across Saskatchewan and into Manitoba in a grey Toyota RAV 4, which was set on fire and abandoned earlier this week.
"We can now confirm that there have been two established and corroborated sightings of the suspects in the Gillam area." Cpl. Julie Courchaine told reporters today. "These sightings were prior to the discovery of the burned-out vehicle.
"There have also been no reported stolen vehicles that could be attributed to the suspects," she continued. "At this point in the investigation, we believe that they are still in the area."
The Mounties hve deployed an emergency response team and a crisis negotiation team to the region, which is in northeastern Manitoba near James Bay.
A photo of Schmegelsky wearing combat fatigues and holding a rifle has turned up in the media after being sent through a video-game network. A second photo shows him in a gas mask and a third image is of a Nazi armband.
A former classmate, Madison Hempsted, told Global B.C. News that Schmegelsky was "kind of a weird kid".
"All he ever said to me was how he wanted to kill me and ways he would do it," she recalled in the TV interview. “I never really thought anything of it until now, because we all thought he was just making jokes.”
McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, are also suspects in this month's murders of two tourists—American Chynna Deese and Australian Lucas Fowler—along the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs.
Fowler's father Stephen, a senior Australian police officer, flew to B.C. afterward and attended a police news conference.
Stephen Fowler said his son fell in love with Deese, who was from Charlotte, North Carolina, while pursuing a dream to travel the world.
"It's the worst ever love story because we now have two young people who had everything ahead of them tragically murdered."
In the meantime, Dyck's UBC colleagues are mourning his loss.
"The UBC community is shocked and saddened by this news and we offer our deepest condolences to Mr. Dyck's family, friends and his colleagues at the university," botany department head Sean Graham said in a statement.
UBC president Santa Ono echoed that sentiment, tweeting that his thoughts and prayers are with Dyck's family, friends, and colleagues.