Advertisement
Canada

Ontario police assign investigative team to look into B.C. murder suspect tips

ABOVE: Family bids farewell to Australian man murdered in B.C.

The Ontario Provincial Police have assigned a dedicated team of investigators to follow up on “numerous” tips related to the manhunt for two B.C. murder suspects.

OPP said Friday that they are investigating reports of “suspicious vehicles and/or young males believed to the British Columbia homicide suspects.”

READ MORE: Manhunt for B.C. murder suspects enters new chapter as Ontario police probe ‘suspicious’ car

“At this time, the OPP cannot confirm that any of these sightings are of the suspects, Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, nor has there been any confirmed sighting in Ontario,” police said in a news release.

“Members of the public should be vigilant of their personal safety at all times. These two suspects are considered dangerous.”

WATCH: Family, friends of Australian man killed in B.C. come together to remember him

Family, friends of Australian man killed in B.C. come together to remember him
Family, friends of Australian man killed in B.C. come together to remember him
Story continues below advertisement

The latest possible clue as to the possible whereabouts of the two men came out of northern Ontario on Wednesday, the same day RCMP wound down search efforts in Manitoba.

OPP received a report about two “suspicious” men driving a white vehicle through a construction site near Highway 11 in Kapuskasing, Ont., at around 10:30 a.m.

WATCH: Is social media helping or harming the Manitoba manhunt?

Is social media helping or harming the Manitoba manhunt?
Is social media helping or harming the Manitoba manhunt?

According to police, the witness believed the men inside were Schmegelsky and McLeod.

Police have not confirmed whether that is, in fact, the case. They are currently treating it as a report of “two suspicious males” and nothing more.

READ MORE: Police probe report of suspicious vehicle in Kapuskasing, Ont., amid manhunt for B.C. murder suspects

At the time, OPP told Global News that the force had received “dozens” of calls over the last week related to the cross-country case, but none have been substantiated.

“Any person with information regarding this investigation should immediately contact the OPP,” the release reads.

“Do NOT report on social media as valuable time is lost should it be a confirmed sighting.”

WATCH: Questions remain as Manitoba manhunt stretches into Day 9

Questions remain as Manitoba manhunt stretches into Day 9
Questions remain as Manitoba manhunt stretches into Day 9
Story continues below advertisement

Friday marks the 11th day in the so-far fruitless manhunt for Schmegelsky and McLeod.

The pair have been charged in the death of Vancouver man Leonard Dyck and are suspects in the deaths of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese.

An emotional funeral was held for Fowler in Sydney, Australia earlier in the day.

Members of his family held hands as they walked into a church to honour the 23-year-old’s life.

READ MORE: Manhunt for B.C. murder suspects shrinking but not ending

Fowler had embarked on what family described as a “road trip of a lifetime” with girlfriend Deese when their bodies were discovered near a highway in northern British Columbia on July 15.

Their murders, along with Dyck’s, have become part of a case that has captured worldwide attention.

Schmegelsky and McLeod have since led police on a cross-province manhunt.

They have not yet been found.

WATCH: RCMP on BC manhunt: We really want to find these people

RCMP on BC manhunt: We really want to find these people
RCMP on BC manhunt: We really want to find these people

At the funeral, Fowler’s friends opted to forgo black attire in favour of colourful plaid shirts in his memory, reported The Australian.

Story continues below advertisement

His father, a New South Wales Police Force chief inspector, said Fowler will always be the boy who “wore the white T-shirt with the flannelette shirt and low-hanging jeans.”

“(He) touched the lives of everyone he met,” Stephen Fowler said during a eulogy.

Stephen (L) and Shaunagh Fowler (C), the parents of Australian murder victim Lucas Fowler, 23, who was found shot to death with his American girlfriend Chynna Deese alongside a highway in Canada’s northern British Columbia two weeks ago, leave the Turramurra Uniting Church after a memorial service in Sydney on August 2, 2019. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Stephen (L) and Shaunagh Fowler (C), the parents of Australian murder victim Lucas Fowler, 23, who was found shot to death with his American girlfriend Chynna Deese alongside a highway in Canada’s northern British Columbia two weeks ago, leave the Turramurra Uniting Church after a memorial service in Sydney on August 2, 2019. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images) (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Stephen Fowler said the family never had a chance to meet Deese in person but that she became a part of their family. He said the two would spend hours talking on FaceTime while Lucas Fowler worked on a ranch in B.C.

A memorial was held for Deese in Charlotte, N.C., just days earlier.

“We were so happy that he had met a life partner,” said Stephen Fowler. “They laughed and loved, and touched the hearts of everyone they met.”

Story continues below advertisement

The emotional service was underscored by recent changes in the ongoing investigation.

READ MORE: Survival expert says 90% chance B.C. murder suspects are still alive

RCMP scaled back the search for Schmegelsky, 18, and McLeod, 19, on Wednesday.

For days, swarms of heavily armed officers combed through the rough wilderness of northern Manitoba for any signs of the longtime friends. There were moments of apparent progress — a “credible tip” about a sighting in York Landing, Man. — but the trail eventually reached a dead end.

Some officers remain in the epicentre of the manhunt, Gillam, Man., but most resources have been withdrawn.

Global News Redesign Global News Redesign
A fresh new look for Global News is here, tell us what you think
Take a Survey

Sponsored Stories