The deputy mayor of a remote northern Manitoba town says residents are locking their doors earlier than usual after word of a police manhunt in the area for two suspects in the deaths of three people in northern British Columbia.
John McDonald says people in Gillam are also making sure their vehicles are locked while the RCMP search for 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky.
The Mounties have said the teens are suspects in the shooting of Lucas Fowler of Sydney, Australia, his girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, N.C., and the death of another man who has yet to be identified publicly.
McDonald says residents are used to seeing strangers come and go from Manitoba Hydro projects, but they’re paying closer attention to faces since the release of photos of the suspects and word Tuesday that both may be in the area.
He says extra officers have been brought in for a search focused about 70 kilometres northwest of the town near Fox Lake Cree Nation, where Chief Walter Spence has said police would be patrolling all night.
McDonald also says if McLeod and Schmegelsky are there, they are in country known for its thick bush, swamps, and pesky insects, and where it’s easy to get lost.
“If they are wandering around in the bush, they couldn’t have picked a worse time because the sandflies came out three days ago and they’re just voracious,” he said Wednesday.
“I’m quite sure they’ll be more than happy to have someone find them.”
The Manitoba RCMP said in an update that they were continuing to share information with Mounties in B.C. regarding the search for the suspects.
“We have received numerous tips and information … and are continuing to ask for the public’s assistance,” said Cpl. Julie Courchaine.
“If you see something suspicious, call police. We are also reminding everyone that these suspects should not be approached if seen and to call 911 or your local police immediately.”
An informational check stop has been set up at an intersection on the road leading into Gillam, the update said.
PUBLIC SAFETY – Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky MAY be in Manitoba and are considered dangerous. We have reasons to believe they were recently in the Gillam area. If you spot them – take no actions – do not approach – call 911 or your local police immediately. #rcmpmb pic.twitter.com/yh2yV78oZd
— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) July 23, 2019