The RCMP says it will release the findings of its investigation into three murders in northern B.C. on Friday, potentially answering long-burning questions to a case that gripped the country for weeks.
Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and 19-year-old Kam McLeod were charged with the murder of Leonard Dyck, a botany lecturer at the University of British Columbia, and were suspects in the deaths of American Chyna Deese and her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler.
The two crime scenes were found on opposite ends of the northern B.C. region within four days of each other in July.
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On July 23, police announced Schmegelsky and McLeod were suspects in all three murders, prompting a Canada-wide manhunt that led police to rural Manitoba and set off alarms from Ontario to Nova Scotia.
Schmegelsky and McLeod were found dead of apparent suicide on Aug. 7 in the wilderness near Gillam, Man. Police said the young men appeared to be dead for days before they were found with two firearms nearby.
Following their discovery, RCMP said it was committed to sharing the details of the investigation with the public after providing updates to the families of the victims and suspects.
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A video described as Schmegelsky’s “last will and testament” became the subject of a brief legal battle between the RCMP and Schmegelsky’s father Alan, who was fighting to view it.
The father was eventually able to view the video, but only after signing a non-disclosure agreement.
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It’s not yet known if the public will be given a chance to view the video, which was allegedly filmed shortly before Schmegelsky’s death.
Other questions that have yet to be answered include how Dyck was killed and why charges were never laid against Schmegelsky and McLeod for Fowler and Deese’s deaths.
The charges for Dyck’s death were essentially dropped after the suspects’ bodies were found and identified.
The young men had initially been considered missing persons when a truck and camper they were driving was found burned a few kilometres from where Dyck’s body was discovered at a highway pullout on July 19.
The bodies of Deese and Fowler were found near the Alaska Highway, 470 kilometres from where Dyck’s body was discovered, on July 15.
The manhunt for McLeod and Schmegelsky led to Gillam, Man., where Dyck’s Toyota Rav 4 was found burned. Officers converged on the area to begin what would be a two-week search.
Police used drones, dogs and even had help from the Canadian Armed Forces to scour the remote area.
The search was scaled back July 31 and a few days later a damaged rowboat was found in the Nelson River. A search of the river turned up little of interest, police said.
On Aug. 6, police said some items linked to Schmegelsky and McLeod were found on the river’s shore. The bodies were discovered the next day, about a kilometre from where police said they found the items.
—With files from the Canadian Press