Canadian authorities have found the car used by the two teenagers suspected of shooting dead Australian tourist Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed on Wednesday the grey 2011 Toyota RAV4 driven by Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, had been set ablaze near the small town of Gillam, Manitoba, a wild and remote area of northern Canada.
“On Monday evening, RCMP recovered a vehicle in the Gillam area after receiving a report of a vehicle fire,” the RCMP said on Twitter.
“We can now confirm this vehicle is the same vehicle the suspects were travelling in.”
BREAKING: Manitoba police confirm this burning car is the Rav 4 the suspects were travelling across Canada in – dumped near Gillam, at the top of the province. They’ve now torched two cars in their killing spree.@9NewsAUS @TheTodayShow (PICS CREDIT: CBC) pic.twitter.com/kS0xy02jbk
— Alexis Daish (@LexiDaish) July 24, 2019
The teenagers, if they remain in the area, appear to have few places to hide although family members have said they have experience of the outdoors.
Schmegelsky is known to wear camouflage clothing.
Gillam, with a population of just 1265, is so isolated the mayor describes it as “the end of the road”.
The RCMP has set up roadblocks and are swarming the area.
Locals believe they have encountered McLeod and Schmegelsky.
“An all-night patrol for the community has been prepared as a caution,” Lake Cree First Nation Chief Walter Spence told residents.
“The RCMP are carefully conducting their work with a large presence and I would like to ask all community members to report anything of concern directly to RCMP.”
Gillam is 2943km east of Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia, where Mr Fowler, 23, from Sydney, and Ms Deese, 24, from North Carolina, were found shot dead, their bodies left in a ditch near their broken-down van, nine days ago.
McLeod and Schmegelsky are also suspects in the death of a man whose body was found near a British Columbia highway.
The identity of the man is yet to be confirmed.
McLeod and Schmegelsky first came up on the RCMP’s radar on Friday when their Dodge pickup truck was found burning near the dead man and the duo went missing.
On Tuesday, the RCMP named the teenagers as suspects in what appears to be a murderous rampage across northern Canada.
Surveillance camera photos of the duo and the RAV4 they were believed to be driving were released by the RCMP in the hope of generating leads from the public.
A petrol station attendant at Split Lake, Manitoba, about a two-hour drive west of Gillam, told CBC News she served the teenagers.
McLeod paid for $C20 of fuel while Schmegelsky asked if they could consume alcohol in the community.
The community is dry.
“The guy who paid for the gas – he was quiet, he didn’t say anything, he was just looking down,” Mychelle Keeper said.
“They seemed like, I don’t know, normal.
“I’m just so nervous right now thinking about it.”
Gillam Mayor Dwayne Forman told the National Post he was surprised the suspects chose to drive to Gillam because to get out of the town, they would have to turn around and go back along the provincial road they had driven in on.
Or they could catch a train north to the town of Churchill.
“We’re the end of the road,” Mr Forman said.
“You can’t go any further beyond us.”
Mr Fowler, the son of a senior NSW police inspector, and Ms Deese were on a Canadian road trip when they were murdered.