Mounties search abandoned homes in Gillam, Man. on Saturday, July 27 in the hunt for wanted fugitives Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky. Both are facing a second-degree murder charge, and are suspected in a double homicide. (Manitoba RCMP/Twitter)

RCMP search abandoned homes, work camps for B.C. murder suspects in Gillam, Man.

Military steps in to help Mounties with aerial search, while officers canvas homes in Gillam, Man.

Manitoba RCMP have searched through more than 100 abandoned houses in the remote northern town of Gillam as investigators enter the fifth day in their hunt for suspected killers Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.

Police announced Friday that they would be spending much of the weekend going door-to-door canvassing in the town, as well as on Fox Lake Cree Nation, in hopes of generating tips and information that advance the nationwide hunt for the young Port Alberni men.

READ MORE: RCMP getting air support from military in hunt for McLeod, Schmegelsky

“In the ongoing search for the suspects, RCMP officers have started to canvass every home in Gillam and Fox Lake Cree Nation,” Manitoba RCMP tweeted Saturday afternoon. “In addition to the canvass, they are also thoroughly searching every abandoned home in the area – over 100 cleared so far.”

A Canada-wide warrant is out for McLeod and Schmegelsky’s arrests. The two men have been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck, whose body was found July 19 at a Highway 37 pullout in northern B.C. They remain suspects in the shooting deaths of tourist couple Chynna Dease, 24, and Lucas Fowler, 23, who were found along the Alaska Highway on July 15.

READ MORE: Bryer Schmegelsky’s mother pleads with him to ‘come home safe’

McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, were last seen in Gillam on Monday. A burnt-out vehicle being driven by the pair was found near Fox Lake that evening, sparking a police block along the town’s sole access road.

It was initially believed that the wanted fugitives were still in the area, but investigators are now considering the possibility that someone may have inadvertently helped them flee. Until a new sighting elsewhere is confirmed, police will continue to focus their search in Gillam.

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces arrived Saturday to help Mounties search through the remote region where difficult terrain, high bush and swampy conditions have hindered search efforts. The Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130H Hercules aircraft will be assisting with an aerial search, the Department of National Defence confirmed.

Manitoba Mounties are also searching through large abandoned buildings, police said, including the Keewatinohk converter station camp that was used as a temporary work camp for Manitoba Hydro and is located roughly 90 kilometres northeast of Gillam.

Cpl. Julie Courchaine urged the public on Friday to keep a vigilant eye out for the wanted fugitives, who may have changed their appearance by now.

“Investigators continue to follow up on tips, review the physical and digital information collected, and share information with police services across Canada,” she said.

McLeod and Schmegelsky are considered armed and dangerous and may not be together. If spotted, do not approach them, and call 911 immediately.

Here is what we know so far:

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

“He was just untying the boats and watching them float away,” said Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Ucluelet RCMP warns of scammers impersonating police

“Police will never demand payment of any kind to get rid of an arrest warrant.”

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Most Read