EDMONTON — The teenage suspects in the deaths of three people in the remote British Columbia north, died by their own hands along the Nelson River, in northern Manitoba, dead for days before they were found, with guns nearby.Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod appear to have shot themselves, the B.C. RCMP said in a statement Monday.The time of the teens’ deaths isn’t known, but police said there were “strong indications” that they had been alive for a few days after they were last seen in July and during a massive manhunt in the dense brush of Gillam in northern Manitoba.The two young men from Port Alberni, B.C., were suspected in the deaths of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese and charged with the second-degree murder of Leonard Dyck, a Vancouver university lecturer.The teens had been dead for several days by the time police found the bodies on Aug. 7, though autopsies did not determine the exact time of death.The police did not specify the type of firearms found with the bodies, and did not return or answer repeated phone calls from the Post on Monday. The two guns are being tested to determine their connection to the three deaths in northern British Columbia.The autopsy results answered a handful of outstanding questions — though many more remain unanswered.The B.C. RCMP have engaged the force’s Behavioural Analysis Unit and Mounties will review all the evidence and timelines, said the police statement.
Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese.
Courtesy of Deese family
“The B.C. RCMP commits that once we have completed that review within the next few weeks, we will be providing the families with an update with respect to the totality of the investigations and then releasing the information publicly,” said the statement.The bodies of Deese and Fowler, who were travelling in their blue 1986 Chevrolet van, were found along the Alaska Highway on July 15. Then, on July 19, some 470 kilometres away, a Dodge Ram 250 pickup truck, with a camper, was discovered burned out along Highway 37 near Dease Lake, B.C. Dyck’s body was nearby, though he was unidentified for several days. Police declined to release a cause of death, saying that “the manner in which he died is not important at this point.”For the early days of the mystery spanning the remote wilderness of northern British Columbia, McLeod and Schmegelsky were missing persons. That changed on July 23, when the RCMP announced they were, in fact, suspects — just one day after they had officially designated them missing persons.By then, McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, who would have turned 19 on Aug. 4, had fled from northern British Columbia in a Toyota RAV4 to northern Manitoba.On the Fox Lake Cree First Nation, some 1,000 kilometres by road from Winnipeg, and further north than the town of Gillam, which the mayor described as a “dead-end,” police found a torched SUV, later confirmed to be the one McLeod and Schmegelsky were driving.This prompted a massive police search of the heavy, boggy brush for the two, and the canvass of hundreds of properties and abandoned buildings in the area. On Aug. 2, police had a break in the case: they found several items — they didn’t explain what they were — along the riverbank. And then five days later, they found two bodies just a kilometre from the riverbank and eight kilometres from the SUV.At a tight-lipped press conference, police offered little information beyond that they believed the bodies were Schmegelsky and McLeod.On the weekend the RCMP told reporters they had found another “item” and were attempting to discern its importance to the investigation — again, police didn’t say what the item was.In an interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes television program, Alan Schmegelsky, Bryer’s father, said he could understand the pain of the families who’d lost loved ones.“I’m so sorry for what’s happened. Whether it’s my son or whether it’s something else, we don’t know. I have just lost my son. I know exactly how you feel,” Schmegelsky said.In response, Chynna Deese’s sister, Kennedy, wrote on Facebook that “Your sorrow is for yourself. You cannot relate to us, as we had no doings in the cause of your pain, when you’ve played a part in the cause of our pain.”With files from The Canadian Press• Email: email@example.com | Twitter: tylerrdawson