Canadian police urged people in a remote northern town to stay inside and lock their doors Monday as officers hunted for two teenagers who are suspects in the murder of three people in British Columbia.
Police Cpl. Julie Courchaine told a news conference in Winnipeg that the agency received a tip Sunday afternoon that Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky may have been spotted in York Landing — about 55 miles (90 kilometers) from Gillam, where a vehicle that had been used by the suspects was found burned last week.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued a tweet saying “it is critical” that residents in York Landing “stay indoors as much as possible with their doors locked.”
The community of about 500 people is accessible only by air or a ferry, though a rail line runs about 15 miles (25 kilometers) away.
Nineteen-year-old McLeod and 18-year-old Schmegelsky have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, whose body was found last week in British Columbia.
They are also suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose bodies were found July 15 along the Alaska Highway about 500 kilometers (300 miles) from Dyck’s killing.
The RCMP Manitoba said the Royal Canadian Air Force was assisting with the search.
Police earlier had been searching further east in the town of Gillam, aided by tracking dogs and drones.
Meanwhile, the father of one of the suspects has sent a book to reporters describing his mental health, harassment convictions involving his ex-wife and his relationship with his fugitive son.
Alan Schmegelsky said the book titled “Red Flagged” is a novelization of actual events and fictionalizes some incidents.
He said he sent the book to reporters to highlight how a “broken system” has shaped him and his son.
“My son and I have been treated like footballs. It’s time for some truth,” he said.
He writes that he was arrested by Victoria police on Aug. 4, 2008, his son Bryer’s eighth birthday, three years after his acrimonious split with the boy’s mother.
Court records show he was charged with criminal harassment in December 2008. He was found guilty of the lesser offence of disobeying a court order.
He returned to court numerous times over the next decade on charges of harassment and breach of probation.
Schmegelsky says he does not currently have a permanent residence and has been homeless for about two years, staying primarily in Victoria.
He has said that he did not see his son between the ages of 8 and 16, at which age his son briefly lived with him in Victoria and they worked in construction together for a summer. He showed The Canadian Press recent photos and videos of his son on his phone.