B.C. RCMP announced today (August 12) that the Manitoba Medical Examiner completed autopsies in Winnipeg on murder suspects Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky from Port Alberni, who were found dead in Manitoba on August 7.
Their bodies were located in dense brush near Nelson River, about eight kilometres (five miles) from where a burnt Toyota RAV4 (which was owned by Vancouver botany instructor Leonard Dyck, whose body was discovered near Dease Lake, B.C.) was found on July 22.
RCMP confirmed that “the two died in what appears to be suicides by gunfire”.
Although RCMP stated that the exact time and date of their deaths remain unknown, and that both were dead for a number of days before their bodies were located, they added that there are “strong indications” that both males had been alive for a few days since their last sighting in July and during the time that search efforts were being conducted in the area of Gillam, Manitoba.
Two firearms were also found with the two males. Forensic analysis is being conducted to confirm that these weapons are linked to the northern B.C. murder cases, which includes the deaths of USA’s Chynna Deese and Australia’s Lucas Fowler.
RCMP completed a search of the area surrounding the bodies and all items found in Manitoba are being assessed in relation to the B.C homicide investigations.
B.C. RCMP stated that more information will be released publicly once a review has been completed within the coming weeks and after the involved families have been provided an update on the investigations.
This past weekend, the family of Deese expressed forgiveness towards the father of Bryer Schmegelsky but also criticized him for his behaviour and not taking responsibility for his role in his son's life.
If you or someone you know is experiencing depressive or suicidal thoughts, some options for resources include talking to a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, psychologist, or counsellor. If in crisis, contact 911 or go to a hospital immediately.
The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of B.C. offers 24-hour phone and online distress services (as well as community education). The Crisis Line Association of B.C. (1-800-784-2433) provides 24-hour service for individuals across the province.
Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) is a national service for children and teenagers.