Two Canadian men at the center of a nationwide manhunt after the discovery of three bodies earlier this month were charged in the murder of a Vancouver man whose identity was revealed Wednesday.
Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, who was found dead on July 19 in Dease Lake, British Columbia, the Royal Candian Mounted Police said in a statement.
“As a result of the charges, Canada-wide warrants have been issued for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky,” police said.
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Dyck’s body turned up just over a mile south of a vehicle fire on Highway 37. The burned-out vehicle was linked to the suspects, CTV News Vancouver reported.
“We are truly heart broken by the sudden and tragic loss of Len. He was a loving husband and father,” Dyck’s family said in a statement through police. “His death has created unthinkable grief and we are struggling to understand what has happened. While we understand there will be interest in knowing more about him and the impact he had during his life, we are asking for the public and the media to please respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
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McLeod and Schmegelsky, from Port Alberni, British Columbia, also have been suspected in the killing of 23-year-old Australian man Lucas Fowler, and his American girlfriend, Chynna Deese, 24, of North Carolina. The couple was discovered shot to death on July 15 along the side of a remote Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia.
Investigators said they believed the couple had been killed the day before.
Police on Tuesday said the men left British Columbia and had been traveling in northern Saskatchewan in a gray 2011 Toyota Rav 4. The Toyota was found burning in Gillam, northern Manitoba, more than 2,000 miles from where the initial burned vehicle was found.
Investigators in the neighboring province of Ontario have warned people living there about the two men. They initially had been listed as missing persons after their burning truck was discovered July 19.
The mounted police warned the public not to approach the pair, but to contact local law enforcement instead. They said the men may have been traveling on foot or separately.
At a news conference on Monday before his son was named a suspect, Alan Schmegelsky said his son and McLeod were disappointed with working at Walmart, their first jobs, and they decided to head off in search of something better up north, CBC News reported.
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He said he expected the manhunt to end with the death of his son.
“He’s on a suicide mission,” he said. “He wants his pain to end.”
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and The Associated Press contributed to this report.