The father of one of the two Port Alberni teens at the centre of a nationwide manhunt is urging for his son to return home.
In a letter released to media on Wednesday, Keith McLeod said he has little information about what has transpired since Friday, when two young tourists were found dead along the Alaska Highway in northern B.C.
“I’m sitting at home worrying about my son,” he said in a written statement, adding that his Port Alberni home has become a focal point of media attention since RCMP announced that 19-year-old Kam McLeod and his friend, 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, were suspects in three deaths last week in the rural B.C. region.
Initially, McLeod and Schmegelsky were being investigated as missing persons, after their red and grey truck was found burned near Dease Lake, just two kilometres away from where an unidentified man was found dead at highway pullout.
Police said at the time it was believed the two were heading to the Yukon to look for work.
On Tuesday, that changed, and they were no longer considered missing and feared dead, but now prime suspects themselves in the shooting deaths near Liard Hot Springs of young couple Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, of North Carolina and Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23, of Australia.
McLeod and Schmegelsky were last spotted in northern Manitoba on Monday night, after first being seen in Meadow Lake, Sask on Sunday. Police believe they could have changed their appearances, and are urging the public to use caution if they spot the young men, described as six-foot-four inches tall and each weighing around 169 pounds.
Spoke to Keith McLeod, father of Kam McLeod, very briefly. He said things have calmed down around their Port Alberni home after yesterday's twist in the police investigation of 3 deaths in northern B.C. that named his son and Bryer Schmegelsky as suspects. His statement: pic.twitter.com/JB4J9L6kDi
— Ashley Wadhwani (@ashwadhwani) July 24, 2019
BC RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said Tuesday that police have been in contact with both families involved to ask for help finding them.
“I’m certain they’re being impacted by this news,” Shoihet said.
No one answered a phone number listed on Schmegelsky’s father’s Facebook page and a person who answered the phone at a McLeod residence in Port Alberni hung up.
A woman who answered the phone at a residence listed under Schmegelsky in Wynyard, Sask., declined to comment.
“I have nothing to say at this time. Can’t you just please leave us alone?” she said through tears before hanging up.
McLeod said that he doesn’t have any information to offer.
“This is what I do know – Kam is a kind, considerate, caring young man always has been concerned about other people’s feelings,” he said.
“As we are trapped in our homes due to media people, we try to wrap our heads around what is happening and hope that Kam will come to us safely so we can all get to the bottom of this story.”
McLeod told Black Press Media over the phone on Wednesday that things have calmed down around his home.
Anyone who spots either of the young men should not approach them and call 911.
With a file from The Canadian Press