Missing Canadian men now considered suspects in killings of couple, other man, police reveal

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Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are now considered suspects in the killings of three people across British Columbia. (RCMP)

Two men reported missing in northern British Columbia after their burning truck was discovered last week are now considered suspects in the killings of a North Carolina woman, her Australian boyfriend, and a third unidentified man who was discovered not far from their vehicle, Canadian authorities revealed Tuesday in a dramatic twist.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said at a news conference that Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, from Port Alberni, British Columbia, are the main suspects in the slayings of  23-year-old Australian Lucas Fowler, and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, who were discovered shot to death on July 15 along the side of the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia.

"Our focus, right now, is to locate these two individuals," RCMP assistant commissioner Kevin Hackett told reporters.

REALTED: Charlotte woman, Australian boyfriend murdered along remote Canadian highway

RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said the pair have been spotted in northern Saskatchewan, and are believed to still be traveling in a grey 2011 Toyota Rav 4. Shoihet did not have a possible destination for the pair but warned they are believed to be dangerous.

"If you see them, do not approach," she said.

Shoihet said that authorities were now able to identify the two teenagers are suspects based on new leads developed by investigators but did not disclose details.

"This investigation is very complex and very evolving," she said.

McLeod is described as six-foot-four, 169 pounds with dark hair and facial hair, and brown eyes. The RCMP said that Schmegelsky is described as six-foot-four and 169 pounds with sandy hair.

Authorities had originally said the pair were traveling to Whitehorse in the Yukon to look for work and had not been in contact with their families for the past few days, police said.

Both were traveling in a red and gray Dodge pickup truck with a sleeping camper that was discovered the following day on fire south of the Stikine River Bridge on Highway 37, about 31 miles south of Dease Lake. Police said it was not clear why they returned to British Columbia and were driving south.

Authorities released a sketch of the deceased man and asked for the public's help in identifying him. He is described as in his 50s and 60s with a heavy build with a grey beard and grey hair.

While authorities were investigating the burning truck Friday they discovered a body at a nearby highway pullout. RCMP said that officials were still working to identify the male remains.

The incident came just a few days after the bodies of a young couple were discovered on the side of a highway in northern British Columbia, roughly 292 miles away from where the body was discovered Friday.

The RCMP said that 23-year-old Australian Lucas Fowler, and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, were shot to death before their bodies were discovered on the side of the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs on July 15. The couple is believed to have been killed that day or the day prior.

Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler were traveling in a 1986 blue Chevrolet van with Alberta license plates that Fowler had fixed up for the planned through trip Canada before they were killed near Liard Hot Springs, a popular tourist destination. The van is believed to have broken down on July 14 along the Alaskan Highway south of the tourist hotspot.

On Monday, authorities released surveillance video of the couple at a gas station in Fort Nelson on July 13, which shows the pair arriving in the van and staying at the facility for about 17 minutes before leaving.

The RCMP also released a composite sketch of a man who was seen talking to the couple in the evening of July 14 along Highway 97, the road where the couple's bodies would be discovered the next day. The man is described as having darker skin with dark hair, standing shorter than 6ft 3in Lucas, with a possible beard or glasses. He was also driving an older model Jeep Grand Cherokee with a black stripe on the hood.

Shoihet has previously acknowledged it was "unusual" to have two major investigations at the same time in the remote region that sees travelers from abroad in addition to motorists and businesses moving between B.C., Alberta, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon Territory, and Alaska.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.