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RCMP zero in on 2 people matching descriptions of B.C. murder suspects

ABOVE: RCMP confirms it received tip B.C. murder suspects were sighted in York Landing, Man. (July 29)

UPDATE: July 29 – The RCMP continues its search for the two men in York Landing. Click here for the latest updates. 

The RCMP are zeroing in on two people they say match the descriptions of Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod in York Landing, Man., the force tweeted on Sunday night.

“All efforts are being made in York Landing to apprehend two individuals matching the description of the suspects,” the RCMP said.

“We remind residents to stay inside and check all doors and windows to ensure they are closed and locked.”

WATCH: RCMP discuss challenges facing them in search for B.C. murder suspects (July 29)

RCMP discuss challenges facing them in search for B.C. murder suspects
RCMP discuss challenges facing them in search for B.C. murder suspects

Earlier Sunday, the RCMP said officers were investigating a tip that the pair, who have been charged with the second-degree murder of a UBC botany instructor and are suspects in the murders of a couple in Northern B.C., were in the York Landing area, or close by.

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“A heavy police presence can be expected in the area,” police said at 5:50 p.m. CDT.

READ MORE: Port Alberni residents ‘struggling’ while waiting for B.C. murder suspects to be caught — mayor

They asked the public not to disclose the locations of officers in the community.

WATCH: RCMP confirm sighting of B.C. murder suspects in Split Lake, Man. prior to Gillam sighting (July 29)

RCMP confirm sighting of B.C. murder suspects in Split Lake, Man. prior to Gillam sighting
RCMP confirm sighting of B.C. murder suspects in Split Lake, Man. prior to Gillam sighting

Schmegelsky, 18, and McLeod, 19, remain at large despite a six-day manhunt and more than 200 tips from the public, RCMP said Sunday.

Investigators have been scouring a remote area of northern Manitoba as part of a nationwide search for the pair. The last confirmed sighting was in Gillam, Man., on Monday.

York Landing is about 200 km west of Gillam.

READ MORE: At the centre of an RCMP manhunt, here’s how Gillam, Man., is coping

Members of the Bear Clan Patrol called RCMP after they saw two men scavenging at a dump site in York Landing on Sunday, according to executive director James Favel.

“So they saw two guys near the dump and at first it didn’t strike them as odd because they thought it was associated with the work going on at this water treatment plant,” Favel told Global News.

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“When they noticed the truck that was associated with those activities wasn’t present, then they kind of went, ‘Uh oh, this kind of might be something else,’ and so they were careful to get a description of the gentlemen that they saw, their exact location and the direction of travel after that.”

WATCH ABOVE: Focus shifts to York Landing, Man., as manhunt for B.C. suspects continues

Focus shifts to York Landing, Man., as manhunt for B.C. suspects continues
Focus shifts to York Landing, Man., as manhunt for B.C. suspects continues

The Bear Clan, an Indigenous-led security patrol group, arrived in northern Manitoba this weekend to provide support.

The men ran away when spotted, Favel said.

WATCH: Hunt for B.C. murder suspects moves to York Landing, Man. after tip comes into RCMP

Hunt for B.C. murder suspects moves to York Landing, Man. after tip comes into RCMP
Hunt for B.C. murder suspects moves to York Landing, Man. after tip comes into RCMP

York Factory First Nation Chief Leroy Constant urged the community to stay inside and keep doors and windows locked.

In addition to the search in York Landing, investigators were canvassing homes and searching buildings in Gillam and neighbouring Fox Lake Cree Nation this weekend.

As of Sunday afternoon, RCMP said that 250 homes were visited and canvassing of Fox Lake had been completed.

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READ MORE: In wake of northern B.C. murders, residents say cell service needed along highways

“In the areas surrounding Gillam, officers are searching cottages, cabins, waterways, and along the rail line for any signs of the suspects. This search of remote areas is being conducted both on foot and in the air,” the police force said in a statement.

The Canadian Forces has deployed a C-130H Hercules and a CP-140 Aurora aircraft to aid in the search. One aircraft, the Aurora, is equipped with infrared camera and imaging radar systems.

WATCH: Manhunt for B.C. murder suspects shifts to York Landing, Man.
Manhunt for B.C. murder suspects shifts to York Landing, Man.
Manhunt for B.C. murder suspects shifts to York Landing, Man.

The RCMP also stopped and searched a Via Rail train bound for Churchill over the weekend.

Schmegelsky and McLeod, both of Port Alberni, B.C., have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck of B.C. and are suspected in the shooting deaths of Australian Lucas Fowler and American Chynna Deese.

Police previously said that none of the 200 tips received in the last five days had established that the pair have left the Gillam area.

WATCH: Bear Clan executive director says members reported possible sighting to RCMP

Bear Clan executive director says members reported possible sighting to RCMP
Bear Clan executive director says members reported possible sighting to RCMP

A burned-out Toyota RAV4 the teens were travelling in was found near the area last week, and police have said there have been no reports of stolen vehicles since then.

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Police acknowledge, however, that they may have gotten assistance to leave town, perhaps by someone who didn’t know they were fugitives.

WATCH: Bear Clan Patrol executive director said members ‘didn’t feel threatened’ following potential sighting of B.C. murder suspects

Bear Clan Patrol executive director said members ‘didn’t feel threatened’ following potential sighting of B.C. murder suspects
Bear Clan Patrol executive director said members ‘didn’t feel threatened’ following potential sighting of B.C. murder suspects

“It is possible that someone may not have been aware of who they were providing assistance to and may now be hesitant to come forward,” Cpl. Julie Courchaine said at an RCMP update in Winnipeg on Friday.

Police have also cautioned that the pair, who were originally considered missing persons, may have changed their appearance.

READ MORE: Canadian Forces aid search for B.C. murder suspects in Gillam, Man.

Gillam, the last known location of Schmegelsky and McLeod, is home to just 1,200 people.

The town is about 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg and an almost 10-hour train ride south of Churchill, Man., on Hudson Bay.

WATCH: RCMP go door to door searching for tips on two young fugitives wanted in connection with three B.C. homicides

RCMP go door-to-door searching for tips on teen fugitives
RCMP go door-to-door searching for tips on teen fugitives

According to the 2016 census, there are 436 homes in the town.​

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One resident, Christine Massan, said she locked her doors for the first time in nearly two decades this past week, when her normally quiet town was thrust into the national spotlight.​

WATCH: RCMP search Via Rail for teen murder suspects

RCMP search Via Rail for teen murder suspects
RCMP search Via Rail for teen murder suspects

“I locked my doors for the first time in 19 years on Tuesday night,” she said. “Brought my keys in from my vehicle and locked the doors.”

READ MORE: Canadian Forces approved to join air search for B.C. murder suspects

Over the past week, police have been aided by tracking dogs and drones in their search for the two young men.

Sherman Kong, a survival expert and the Founder of Maple Leaf Survival in Winnipeg, explained that the terrain near Gillam is difficult to navigate even with a map and compass. Therefore, the pair may be employing a military-style survival tactic to avoid detection and stay alive.

“The fundamental survival skills might be the same, but on one hand, where the typical person lost is trying to survive and wait for help to come, make themselves visible and seen so that rescue can ensue, in this case, they might be trying to avoid rescue or detection completely,” he said.

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READ MORE: ‘Military-style survival’ — How B.C. murder suspects may be faring in the harsh Manitoba wilderness

If the suspects are spotted, Canadians have been urged to contact their local police branch immediately.

“Multiple tips of sightings have been posted to social media in the last few days and not directly reported to police,” Manitoba RCMP said Sunday.

WATCH: Survival expert weighs in on Manitoba manhunt
Manitoba manhunt: Survival expert weighs in on mindset of B.C. teens
Manitoba manhunt: Survival expert weighs in on mindset of B.C. teens

“If the tips are valid, it can create a substantial delay in the response by police and be detrimental to the overall investigation.”

—With files from the Canadian Press and Hannah Jackson

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