Ontario police establish team to investigate 'numerous reports' regarding B.C. murder suspects
Kayla Goodfield, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, August 2, 2019 10:15AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 2, 2019 12:35PM EDT
Ontario Provincial Police said they are investigating “numerous reports” regarding suspicious vehicles and possible sightings of males believed to be the British Columbia murder suspects.
As a result, an investigative team, under the direction of Det. Insp. Matt Watson with the service’s criminal investigation branch, has been set up to follow up on all tips received.
“At this time, the OPP cannot confirm that any of these sightings are of the suspects, Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, nor has there been any confirmed sighting in Ontario,” officers said in a news release issued on Friday morning.
“Members of the public should be vigilant of their personal safety at all time.”
Bryer Schmegelsky, left, and Kam McLeod are seen in this undated combination handout photo. (RCMP)
The announcement from police in Ontario comes one day after investigators confirmed they were investigating a possible sighting of the pair in the province.
The tip pertained to a suspicious white vehicle driving through a construction zone on Highway 11 in the small community of Kapuskasing.
Acting Staff Sgt. Shona Camirand told CTV News the person who reported the information believed the occupants of the vehicle resembled the pair.
Kapuskasing is approximately 2,400 kilometres away from Gillam, Man. if driving, which is the last place officials have conclusively determined Schmegelsky and McLeod stopped since fleeing B.C. last month.
RCMP search an area near Gillam, Man. in this photo posted to their Twitter page on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (The Canadian Press / Manitoba RCMP, @rcmpmb)
The pair is wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, who were on a three-week road trip travelling through B.C. and heading to Alaska.
A burned-out truck was then found with the body of Leonard Dyck, of Vancouver, southwest of the scene of the double homicide.
Police said they believe the cases are connected.
- More from CTV News Vancouver: Search continues for B.C. murder suspects
Earlier this week, the RCMP said they were paring down search efforts in Manitoba after spending more than a week scouring the province for Schmegelsky and McLeod, who are both from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.
RCMP Cpl. Julie Courchaine speaks to media in Gillam, Man. in Winnipeg on July 26, 2019. (The Canadian Press / John Woods)
At the time, the RCMP said it has followed up on more than 250 tips and canvassed more than 500 homes and buildings, but could not confirm a sighting of the suspects.
On Friday, OPP officers said the suspects “are considered dangerous.”
“If observed, do not approach them and call police immediately.”
Anyone with further information regarding the investigation is asked to contact OPP officers at 1-888-310-1122 or call 911.
“Do not report on social media as valuable time is lost should it be a confirmed sighting,” police urged in the news release.