A pair of teenagers suspected in the murders of a North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend have been charged in the death of a third man from Vancouver.
A manhunt was underway in Canada Thursday morning for 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and 19-year-old Kam McLeod. They were charged Wednesday with one count of second-degree murder in the death of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck, authorities said in a press release.
He was found dead Friday at a highway pullout just more than a mile away from burning gray truck, which has since been identified as belonging to the suspects.
“We are truly heartbroken by the sudden tragic loss of Len,” Dyck’s family said in a statement on Wednesday.
“He was a loving husband and father. His death has created unthinkable grief and we are struggling to understand what has happened.”
The teens are also wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of 24-year-old Chynna Deese and 23-year-old Lucas Fowler, who is also the son of New South Wales Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler.
Authorities on Monday found the couple dead alongside the Alaska Highway, just south of Liard Hot Springs in British Colombia. Fowler and Deese were touring Canada and had been approaching the end of a road trip to Alaska when their 1968 Chevrolet broke down.
As a result of the murder charges, authorities have issued a Canada-wide warrant for McLeod and Schmegelsky, who remain at large. They were last seen in Gillam, a town of about 1,300 with only “one way in and one way out by road,” its mayor, Dwayne Forman said.
Case of missing N.C. and Australian couple
Case of missing N.C. and Australian couple
In this undated photo provided by the Deese family of Chynna Deese, 23-year-old Australian Lucas Fowler, left, and 24-year-old American girlfriend Chynna Deese poses for a selfie. The couple were found murdered along the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs, Canada, on Monday, July 15, 2019. (Deese Family via AP)
Security camera images of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and a Toyota RAV4 SUV are placed on display before an Royal Canadian Mounted Police news conference in Surrey, British Columbia, on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. RCMP say two British Columbia teenagers who were first thought to be missing are now considered suspects in the deaths of three people in northern British Columbia. The bodies of Australian Lucas Fowler, his girlfriend Chynna Deese, of Charlotte, N.C., and an unidentified man were found a few kilometers from the teens' burned-out vehicle. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
A sketch of a man who the Royal Canadian Mounted Police say interacted with Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese is displayed during a news conference, in Surrey, British Columbia, on Monday July 22, 2019. Lucas, a 23-year-old Australian who, along with his girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, of Charlotte, N.C., were found dead in Northern British Columbia last week. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
Security camera images recorded in Saskatchewan of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are displayed as Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett steps away from the podium after speaking during a news conference in Surrey, British Columbia, on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. RCMP say two British Columbia teenagers who were first thought to be missing are now considered suspects in the deaths of three people in northern British Columbia. The bodies of Australian Lucas Fowler, his girlfriend Chynna Deese, of Charlotte, N.C., and an unidentified man were found a few kilometers from the teens' burned-out vehicle. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
New South Wales police chief inspector Stephen Fowler pauses while speaking at a Royal Canadian Mounted Police news conference, in Surrey, British Columbia, on Monday July 22, 2019. Fowler's son Lucas, a 23-year-old Australian who, along with his girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, of Charlotte, N.C., were found dead in Northern British Columbia last week. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
Chynna Deese and her boyfriend Lucas Fowler are seen in undated photos issued by the RCMP
VANCOUVER — Three people are dead in northern B.C. and there is a major search stretching across Western Canada for two teens police say are suspects. Here's a timeline of events:July 15 — The bodies of a man and a woman are found near a blue van on the Alaska Highway, also known as Highway 97, near Liard Hot Springs.July 17 — RCMP say the deaths are suspicious.July 18 — RCMP announce Australian Lucas Fowler, 23, and American Chynna Deese, 24, are victims of a double homicide. Meanwhile, in Jade City, B.C., Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are spotted in a store where they stopped for free coffee. Jade City is about 350 kilometres from where the two bodies were found.July 19 — Police announce the body of a man has been found two kilometres from a burned-out truck belonging to McLeod and Schmegelsky near Dease Lake, B.C. The two teens are missing. Dease Lake is about 470 kilometres from the first crime scene.July 21 — McLeod and Schmegelsky are spotted in Meadow Lake, Sask.July 22 — Mounties say Fowler and Deese were shot. They release composite sketches of a man seen speaking with the couple on the highway where they were found dead and a sketch of the unidentified man found dead near the burned truck. Fowler's father, an Australian police inspector, pleads for the public's help in the investigation.July 23 — RCMP announce Schmegelsky and McLeod are now suspects in the three deaths. They release photos of the young men and a 2011 grey Toyota Rav 4 they may be driving. Fox Lake Cree Nation says a burned-out vehicle is found near Gillam in northern Manitoba. Police search that area.July 24 — Manitoba RCMP confirm the burned-out vehicle near Gillam is the Toyota Rav 4 the suspects are believed to have been driving. The Canadian Press
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Schmegelsky’s father, Alan, said he fears his son will die in a confrontation with police, who he worries will “shoot first and ask questions later.”
“He’s going to be dead today or tomorrow – I know that. He wants his hurt to end,” he told The Canadian Press, breaking down into tears.
“They’re going to go out in a blaze of glory. Trust me on this. That’s what they’re going to do. Rest in peace Bryer. I love you. I am so sorry all this had to happen. I am so sorry that I couldn’t rescue you.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Tuesday shared photos of the teen suspects on Twitter, but warned the public against approaching them.
“We are asking the public that if you spot Kam McLeod of Bryer Schmegelsky to consider them as dangerous – take no actions – do not approach – and call 911 immediately,” authorities said.