Canadian teen serial killers died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds after leading police on 15-day, 3,000-mile manhunt
An autopsy has confirmed that the bodies found near the Nelson River last week belonged to Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, the teenage suspects in three murders.
Two Canadian teenagers who were the prime suspects in three murders and whose bodies were found last week likely died from suicide by gunfire, a medical examiner has announced. An autopsy conducted by the Manitoba Medical Examiner has confirmed that the bodies found near Nelson River outside Gillam, Manitoba, belonged to Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, who were fugitives from the law and had led law enforcement on a 15-day, 3,100-mile chase across five provinces, according to the Daily Mail.
Schmegelsky and McLeod had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Vancouver botanist and father-of-two Leonard Dyck, 64, and were also the sole suspects in the murders of North Carolina backpacker Chynna Deese, 24, and her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler, 23.
They had reportedly left their hometown of Port Alberni, British Columbia, on July 12 after telling family members that they were going to search for a job in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Three days later, on July 15, the bodies of Deese and Fowler, who had been backpacking across Canada, were found in a ditch beside their broken-down 1986 Chevrolet van.
Four days after that, on July 19, the body of Dyck was found by Dease Lake, around 300 miles away. His Toyota RAV4 was missing and a Dodge pickup truck, which was determined to belong to McLeod, had been set on fire a mile away.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police initially reported Schmegelsky and McLeod missing on July 19, fearing that they had fallen victim to whoever had killed Deese, Fowler, and Dyck.
But five days later, on July 24, they announced that the teenage pair were suspects in the three deaths after Dyck's RAV4 was found in flames near Gillam, Manitoba.
That announcement kicked off what would eventually become a 15-day manhunt for the two that would end with the discovery of their bodies in a densely-wooded area near the Nelson River.
Police were tipped off about the location on August 9 after a local guide spotted a blue sleeping bag tangled in some willows near the river, and the next day, a helicopter found an aluminium boat linked to the pair near the banks.
That boat, along with the sleeping bag, and scraps of pork and orange peels in the area helped them track down their bodies to a dense brush near the shoreline. The location was more than 2,000 miles away from British Columbia.
The initial suspicion amongst local media was that Schmegelsky and McLeod had succumbed to the harsh terrain of the region and dangerous predators that roamed the area, but the recent autopsy has confirmed that they died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
They are currently the only suspects in the murders, which is believed to have been random, and the police said that their investigation will continue until it is proven they are responsible.
Two firearms were found with the teens, and forensic analysis is underway to determine whether they are connected with the homicides of Deese, Fowler, and Dyck.