Mayor of B.C. fugitives’ hometown says outcome of manhunt ‘devastating’

Mayor of B.C. fugitives’ hometown says outcome of manhunt ‘devastating’

Manitoba RCMP believe they’ve found the bodies of Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky

News that RCMP in Manitoba have likely discovered the bodies of two B.C. fugitives that have been the subject of a Canada-wide manhunt is “absolutely devastating,” says Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, both of Port Alberni, were suspected in the deaths of three people in northernB.C. in mid-July. They were last seen on July 22 near Gillam, Man., and since then, the RCMP, the military and countless others have conducted an intense cross-country search that covered more than 11,000 square kilometres.

“We are definitely saddened by the news today, as a city and as a community. It’s definitely not the outcome that we had hoped for,” Minions said.

“No matter how you look at it, there has been so much tragedy. This has affected people across the country, and across the world. We’re thankful the search at least has come to a conclusion.”

READ: Timeline of the hunt for two Port Alberni men

Minions said she has not reached out to the young men’s families yet. “Over the last couple of weeks, I have tried to respect their privacy. But I am planning to reach out now,” she said.

The families of McLeod and Schmegelsky were not available for comment on Wednesday.

“We request that you respect privacy at this time, by keeping off our property and not ringing the door bell or banging on our door,” a sign on Schmegelsky’s grandmother’s door said. “We will not be making any statement.”

Gillam Mayor Forman said it’s not a surprise they were found dead.

“This is non-forgiving terrain … there was a lot of speculation this was likely to be the outcome,” he said. “The closure is here for Gillam and the Fox Lake area. But the closure for the victims’ families is far from over.”

RELATED: Bodies of B.C. fugitives believed to have been found in Manitoba

Deese’s brother, British Deese, told The Associated Press that the family needed time to process the news that the suspects’ bodies had been found.

“We are speechless,” he said in a text message, declining further comment.

– with files from The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The McLeod family put up several ‘no trespassing’ signs on their property once news broke that their son, Kam McLeod, was suspected in three northern B.C. homicides. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

The McLeod family put up several ‘no trespassing’ signs on their property once news broke that their son, Kam McLeod, was suspected in three northern B.C. homicides. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Mayor of B.C. fugitives’ hometown says outcome of manhunt ‘devastating’

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Most Read