Cops retrace steps amid teen fugitive ‘sighting’

 

CANADIAN police hunting the suspected teen serial killers of Aussie backpacker Lucas Fowler and two others are focused on a reported sighting in the neighbouring province of Ontario.

As the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) began scaling back their unsuccessful nine day search in Manitoba, authorities 2300km away were also looking for Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said they were searching for a car with two men who a witness said matched the pair's description.

The suspected killers Bryer Schmegelsky, left, and his friend Kam McLeod. Picture: Supplied
The suspected killers Bryer Schmegelsky, left, and his friend Kam McLeod. Picture: Supplied

The car was driven through a construction site on Highway 11 in the mainly French-speaking rural mill town of Kapuskasing on Wednesday morning, local time.

"At this time the OPP cannot confirm the identity of the people in the vehicle that was occupied by two males," police said in a statement.

"The OPP is continuing to investigate this incident and is actively looking for the vehicle."

Police have returned to Gillam, Manitoba, to search for evidence that may have been missed. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia
Police have returned to Gillam, Manitoba, to search for evidence that may have been missed. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia

Canadian police reduced air patrols in their search for the fugitive teens, but insist the pair could still be alive and either hiding nearby or have received help getting away from the intense search.

At a press conference announcing the scaled back search, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said police had searched 11,000sq km in northern Manitoba, as well as 500 homes.

"I know this news is not what the families of the victims and the people of northern Manitoba wanted to hear," Ms MacLatchy said.

RCMP officers and dog patrols combed the dense bushland near the indigenous settlement of Fox Lake near Gillam, Manitoba. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia
RCMP officers and dog patrols combed the dense bushland near the indigenous settlement of Fox Lake near Gillam, Manitoba. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia

"We would really like to find these suspects (and) we've pulled out all the stops on this thing … I have no regrets."

"To be clear, we are not ending this search," Ms MacLatchy said.

The search is focused on the area where the pair ditched their burnt-out RAV 4 more than a week ago, with officers on ATVs and dog patrols combing the dense bushland near the indigenous settlement of Fox Lake.

 

 

RCMP Inspector Kevin Lewis said a Canadian Air Force Hercules was no longer performing heat scanning patrols from the air.

"We are looking at some areas we've already looked at to see if there's anything we may have missed that can help us," Insp Lewis told News Corp Australia.

RCMP Emergency Response Team in the area near where a burnt-out Toyota Rav 4 driven by the murder suspects was found near Gillam, Manitoba, Canada. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia
RCMP Emergency Response Team in the area near where a burnt-out Toyota Rav 4 driven by the murder suspects was found near Gillam, Manitoba, Canada. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia

More than 40 officers working out of Gillam were "rechecking areas they (the pair) may have returned to."

It came as the mother of Mr Fowler's girlfriend, Chynna Deese, said she wanted police to find the teens who are suspected of killing her daughter.

Sheila Deese, right, with Lucas Fowler and daughter, Chynna Deese. Picture: Supplied
Sheila Deese, right, with Lucas Fowler and daughter, Chynna Deese. Picture: Supplied

"I want them caught. I want them to have consequences," Sheila Deese said.

"That's what so much of everything is about. The story is about Chynna and Lucas, but so much of the focus is these boys, these evil, evil boys."

Chynna Deese had today been due to arrive home to Charlotte, North Carolina, from the road trip with her long-term Australian boyfriend.