'Stay inside and lock your doors': Tiny Canadian village on lockdown as teenage murder spree suspects spotted scavenging for food

Tim Wyatt

A massive police manhunt has been launched in a remote part of northern Canada for a pair of teenager double murder suspects.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been chasing Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, for weeks since the pair were connected to two separate killings in British Columbia earlier this month.

The teenagers have been tracked in a series of stolen cars as they have travelled thousands of miles across Canada, from its Pacific coast in the west all to the way east to rural Manitoba.

Police helicopters, a plane, drones, dog units and armed officers have flooded the area around York Landing, a small village in remote northern Manitoba, where a local indigenous neighbourhood watch group had spotted the duo.

Officers tweeted residents in York Landing should stay inside and lock all their doors and windows while the heavy police presence searched their community.

James Favel from the Bear Clan Patrol, the First Nations group which reported the sighting, said some of his volunteers spotted two young men who matched the description of Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky.

The pair immediately stood out in the small, close-knit village while scavenging for food near a dump and ran away as soon as they realised they had been seen, he added.

RCMP units had already been searching the nearby town of Gillam and believe the pair have been cornered in this region of rural Manitoba.

But the intense police presence was leaving its mark on the locals. “Up here, all the towns and communities, they look like ghost towns,” said Wade Taylor, another volunteer with the Bear Clan Patrol.

“Like, everyone’s inside. There’s a high level of stress, anxiety and fearfulness because they’re being kept in their houses.

“Some of the people, you can tell by their voice that they’re almost at the point of breaking down crying. You could say it’s traumatic.”

The manhunt saga began on 12 July when Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky, childhood friends, left their home in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island and travelled 1,500 miles north to Whitehorse, in the Yukon, to look for work.

But on 15 July police discovered the bodies of a young couple near Liard Hot Springs, back in British Columbia and the RCMP has said the teenagers are suspects in the case and wanted for questioning.

A few days later a burnt-out truck driven by the pair was discovered, along with the body of Leonard Dyck. Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky have been charged with his murder and chased across Canada by the RCMP ever since.

The duo are believed to be armed and the public has been warned not to approach them.

The father of Mr Schmegelsky has told reporters he believes his son is on a “suicide mission” and expects him to eventually die in a confrontation with the police.

“A normal child doesn’t travel across the country killing people,” he said. “A child in some very serious pain does.”