RCMP are now searching the remote community of York Landing, Man., as they continue a large-scale search for two B.C. homicide suspects who have been on the run for nearly a week.
Police are responding to a tip that two men fitting the descriptions of Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19 were spotted in the community.
The men are being sought in connection with three homicides in B.C.
RCMP warned a heavy police presence could be expected in the area.
York Landing is nearly 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg and about 90 kilometres by air southwest of Gillam, Man., where RCMP have been focusing their efforts with assistance from the Canadian military.
A member of Winnipeg’s Bear Clan patrol group made the sighting around 4:15 p.m. CT after spotting what he believed to be the men near the landfill and water-treatment plant in York Landing.
‘They fit the description’
The area isn’t one that locals frequent and there were bears around, said Travis Bighetty.
Bighetty told CBC News he and his partner spotted two “tall, slender individuals” moving very quickly — possibly spooked by the sound of the truck Bighetty was in.
“They fit the description of what was given in the RCMP report,” Bighetty said. “It didn’t click right away, it took a few moments.”
He couldn’t tell what the two figures were up to. “[I] kind of figured they were scavenging or something.”
The Bear Clan, which was created to keep the peace and assist residents in inner-city communities in Winnipeg, expanded its reach this week to the northern portion of the province to back up Mounties as they canvassed homes in Gillam.
About a half-hour later, RCMP wearing tactical gear began coming into the community, along with police dogs. Helicopters were also in the air, assisting in the search.
“A lot of craziness right now,” Bighetty said. “It’s a surreal moment right now knowing they could be in this small, isolated community.
“The area is very dense with forest, he said. “It could be 20 yards [18 metres] in the woods – you wouldn’t be able to see them.”
Residents of the community are alert, aware and concerned, said Bighetty.
In a Facebook post directed to the community, York Landing Chief Leroy Constant asked people to park their vehicles and to stay inside with their doors locked.RCMP also requested people not disclose on social media where their officers were located.