Canada police: 2 fugitives talked about killing on videos

U.S. & World
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SURREY, British Columbia (AP) — Two fugitives suspected of killing three people before taking their own lives had recorded videos in which they took responsibility for the deaths of the victims, authorities said Friday.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said six videos on a digital camera were found near the bodies of the two suspects. Authorities don’t plan to release the videos to the public, but described their contents.

The bodies of the suspects, 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, were found Aug. 7 in dense bush in Manitoba. Authorities say they died by suicide.

The teens were charged with the murder of a University of British Columbia botany lecturer Leonard Dyck. They were also suspects in the deaths of American Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler. 

“We have no evidence that leads us to identify what the motive was,” RCMP assistant commissioner Kevin Hackett said. “If there was a motive, it is gone with the accused.”

A manhunt for the teenage suspects had spread across three provinces and involved the Canadian military.

In the first video, which lasts 58 seconds, Schmegelsky says the pair are responsible for the three killings, according to police. They say they are planning to march to Hudson Bay where they hope to hijack a boat and go to Europe or Africa.

In the second, 51-second video, Schmegelsky says they have reached a river that is fast moving. Schmegelsky says they may have to kill themselves, to which McLeod agrees. They again take credit for killing the three people.

In a 32-second video, Schmegelsky says the pair have shaven in preparation for their death. They now plan to kill more people and expect to be dead in a week.

In a 19-second video the pair describe how they are going to kill themselves.

In a 31-second video, McLeod and Schmegelsky states this is their last will and testament. They wish to be cremated.

There is also a six-second video which appears to have been taken unintentionally.

Hackett said the pair looked “cold, remorseless” on the videos.

Fowler and Deese may have been targeted because they were stopped on a remote northern British Columbia highway with vehicle problems, according to Hackett.

“There is no real clear understanding of why they were ultimately targeted, other than the fact they were at the side of the road,” Hackett said.

Police declined to release the videos. The bodies of the suspects were found near Gillam, Manitoba — more than 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) from northern British Columbia.

The bodies of Deese and Fowler were found near the Alaska Highway, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) from where Dyck’s body was discovered, on July 19.

The digital camera used to make the videos belonged to Dyck.

Fowler, the son of a chief inspector with the New South Wales Police Department in Australia, was living in British Columbia and Deese was visiting him.

The couple had met at a hostel in Croatia and their romance blossomed as they adventured across the U.S., Mexico, Peru and elsewhere, the woman’s older brother said.

The brother, British Deese, said the couple was on a trip to visit Canadian national parks when they were killed.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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