VANCOUVER—It’s been 50 days since Canada’s national police called a news conference to provide a “significant” update in the weeks-long manhunt for two suspected killers that grabbed the attention of Canadians coast to coast.
“This morning, at approximately 10 a.m., RCMP officers located two male bodies in the dense brush,” said Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy of the Manitoba RCMP on Aug. 7.
Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, had been found dead. Days later, police would confirm they shot themselves to death.
That update would be the last — until now.
B.C. RCMP have promised to provide answers about their investigation in a technical briefing and media event Friday.
Schmegelsky and McLeod, two young men from Port Alberni, B.C., were charged in the death of Vancouverite Len Dyck and suspected in the double homicide of Australian Lucas Fowler and American Chynna Deese.
Very little is known about why they became suspects and what possible motive they could have had.
These are the lingering questions police might answer Friday:
Did Schmegelsky and McLeod kill Fowler and Deese?
When the RCMP found McLeod and Schmegelsky’s burning truck near Dease Lake, B.C. on July 19 and the body of Dyck less than two kilometres away, the two young men were not immediately considered suspects — only missing teens.
Mounties said the next day there was no reason to believe the deaths of Deese and Fowler, whose bodies were found on a different Northern B.C. highway four days earlier, were connected to the death of the man later identified as Leonard Dyck.
Three days after that, on July 23, the manhunt for McLeod and Schmegelsky began as RCMP announced the men were suspects in all three deaths.
Police have not said what information turned the missing men into suspects or what connected the deaths of Fowler and Deese to that of Dyck.
Police said Deese and Fowler died of gunshot wounds and that the bodies of McLeod and Schmegelsky were found with two firearms. They hoped forensic analysis of the firearms would provide “definitive” evidence that McLeod and Schmegelsky killed Deese and Fowler.
What messages did Schmegelsky and McLeod leave before their deaths?
Star Vancouver revealed on Aug. 19 that the bodies of McLeod and Schmegelsky were found with a cellphone — and that cellphone contained at least one video message from the two young men. About 30 seconds of the video were shown to their families, reportedly containing their wishes for their remains.
The rest of the recording, of unknown length, has been in the possession of police.
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If McLeod and Schmegelsky did kill three people in Northern B.C., why did they do it?
It has not been proven that McLeod and Schmegelsky were guilty of the slayings.
Besides the messages left by McLeod and Schmegelsky, behavioural analysis may help the RCMP explain a possible motive in the case.
After the deaths of the two men, RCMP brought in a behavioural analysis unit to review crime-scene evidence, interview friends and family of the suspects and look over other available material, including online posts.
Did Bryer Schmegelsky make it to his 19th birthday?
In other words: at what point during the RCMP’s search for McLeod and Schmegelsky did the two men die?
RCMP have said the men spent several days in the unforgiving Manitoba wilderness — frigid at night and rife with bugs — before shooting themselves. The pair were found dead on Aug. 7. Schmegelsky was born Aug. 4, 2000, but it is unknown whether he died before or after Aug. 4, 2019.
How did Leonard Dyck die?
No cause of death for Dyck has been provided to date.
What items found along the shore of the Nelson River guided the Mounties to McLeod’s and Schmegelsky’s bodies?
The key evidence that helped the RCMP narrow their search and eventually find the bodies of McLeod and Schmegelsky were items located near the Nelson River in Northern Manitoba, near Gillam. Police may reveal what those items were and how they were linked to the two young men.