RCMP say B.C. fugitives died in suicides by gunfire - Canadanewsmedia
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RCMP say B.C. fugitives died in suicides by gunfire

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RCMP say B.C. fugitives

RCMP confirmed Monday the two bodies found in northern Manitoba last week are those of homicide suspects, Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, and said the two died in what appears to be suicides by gunfire.

The bodies were found Wednesday, ending a 13-day cross-country search for the two men from Port Alberni, B.C.

Mounties had expressed confidence that the bodies belong to the men, but officers were not able to confirm the identities until autopsies were completed by the Manitoba Medical Examiner.

The autopsies suggest both individuals were dead for several days before they were found, but the exact time of their deaths are not known.

Police said two firearms were found near the bodies, and forensic analysis is underway to confirm whether these weapons are connected with the northern B.C. homicide investigations.

The search for McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, who would have turned 19 on Aug. 4, covered 11,000 square kilometres in northern Manitoba alone — an area larger than Jamaica.

The two men are suspects in the deaths of a young couple and a botanist, killed within days of each other in northern B.C. last month. They had all been taking summer road trips.

A still taken from surveillance footage released by the RCMP shows McLeod, left, and Schmegelsky, right, leaving a store in Meadow Lake, Sask., on July 21. (RCMP)

UBC lecturer Leonard Dyck, 64, was found dead on a highway pullout on July 19. A burned-out camper truck believed to be driven by McLeod and Schmegelsky was found in the vicinity.

Australian Lucas Fowler, 23, and American Chynna Deese, 24, had been found dead days earlier next to Fowler’s blue Chevy van at the side of the Alaska Highway — hundreds of kilometres from where Dyck would be found. The couple had been shot.

RCMP say B.C. fugitives
The bodies of tourists Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler, left, were found near Liard Hot Springs, B.C., on July 15. University lecturer Leonard Dyck, right, was found dead four days later near Dease Lake, B.C. (New South Wales Police; University of British Columbia)

McLeod and Schmegelsky, who told their families they were going to Whitehorse in search of work, were initially believed to be missing after the camper truck was found. RCMP named them suspects in the three killings on July 22, warning the public they were armed and dangerous.

13-day search in northern Manitoba

A nationwide search for the fugitives ramped up after a Toyota RAV4, later confirmed to have belonged to Dyck, was found scorched near Fox Lake Cree Nation on July 22. RCMP believe the suspects had been driving the vehicle.

The gruelling search had Mounties and Canadian military trawling unforgiving Manitoba backcountry riddled with boggy swamps and clouds of insects. The hunt left many locals afraid to leave their homes, threw quiet communities into the international media spotlight and transfixed Canadians across the country.

RCMP say B.C. fugitives
RCMP officers stand near the site where the burnt-out vehicle used by the two B.C. homicide suspects was found on July 22 during the massive police search near Gillam. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Investigators received more than 1,000 tips during their search. RCMP announced they were scaling back the operation after nine days of unsuccessful efforts on July 31. But two days later, a damaged boat and several personal items linked to the fugitives were found along Manitoba’s Nelson River, which flows between Gillam, Man., and Fox Lake.

RCMP say B.C. fugitives
Two bodies, thought to be of McLeod and Schmegelsky, were found near the Nelson River in northern Manitoba on Aug. 7. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

That discovery led officers to the bodies. The remains were discovered eight kilometres northeast of where the RAV4 was found and one kilometre from where the personal items were located.

Manitoba RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre said the search was punishing.

“We were describing it over the last couple of weeks as being some pretty dense bush and some pretty remarkable terrain — in my opinion that’s almost an understatement,” said Manaigre, who participated in police searches after the bodies were found.

“It was incredible. The steep hills, you’ve got a fast moving river with very little riverbank.… It’s unimaginable how … you could traverse that type of area.”

Manaigre said a motive for the B.C. killings is still unknown.

“That’s going to be the biggest puzzle to solve in this investigation,” he said. “And we hope we can get some answers on that question.”

RCMP say B.C. fugitives

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Liberals block ethics commissioner from testifying about SNC-Lavalin report

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The Liberal majority on the House ethics committee voted down an opposition motion to have Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion testify about his report which found that Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act over the SNC-Lavalin affair. Vassy Kapelos gets reaction from MPs on the committee. Plus, the Power Panel breaks down the Ford government’s changes to Ontario’s sex-education curriculum.

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Joshua Boyle worried about what his wife might tell police

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Joshua Boyle

After calling 911 to report that his wife was missing and suicidal, Joshua Boyle told an Ottawa police sergeant that he was also worried what she might tell authorities when she was found.

“He told me he was concerned, as any husband would be, with what Caitlan (Coleman) would say to us when we found her,” Sgt. Shane Henderson told court Tuesday.

Henderson was one of the first officers to respond to Boyle’s 911 emergency call late on the night of Dec. 30, 2017. A recording of that call was played in court Tuesday.

The 911 call was made at 11:47 p.m. from a Centretown address.

Boyle told the dispatcher that his wife was threatening to kill herself. He said she was alone in her room then ran outside, and was “screaming at the top of her lungs that she was going to kill herself.”

He said she had borderline personality disorder, PTSD, “extreme mental instability” and other issues.

“I am very worried for her right now,” he said in the telephone recording, played in court.

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Boyle told police his wife was wearing a hijab scarf on her head, but did not have a coat and may not have shoes.

Before she left the apartment, Boyle said they had an argument that “turned into rabid self-loathing, a panic attack, something, I’m not sure.”

“I had asked her to stay in her room,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be long,” the dispatcher told Boyle. “We’ll get some officers to see you there, OK?”

“OK,” Boyle replied. “Just try to be gentle with her: She is really going through a rough time.”

Sgt. Henderson was the first officer on scene, and went to Boyle’s apartment at 12:05 a.m.

Boyle repeated what he had told the dispatcher, and said his wife had initially raced up the stairs towards another apartment in the three-storey apartment block. Henderson testified: “He told me that he did not want to drag Caitlan back into the apartment or did not want to hit her.”

Henderson and another officer went to the second apartment and interviewed the young man who lived there. The tenant said he had heard someone banging on his back door 20 minutes earlier, but did not answer it.

Court heard that the officers searched the back staircase and yard but could not locate Coleman so they returned to Boyle’s apartment for more information.

According to Henderson, Boyle said Coleman was particularly stressed because her mother was in town, and she was worried about the state of their apartment. They had also argued, Boyle told Henderson, about drawing on walls and “Caitlan, as a wife, not performing her roles and responsibilities as a mother.”

Boyle told Henderson that he wanted Coleman to stay in her room and calm down. “He told me he kept the door open and at no time prevented her from leaving,” Henderson testified.

“He said he offered to have sex with Caitlan if she wanted to.”

When Henderson asked if Coleman had a cellphone, Boyle reached on top of the fridge and retrieved a flip phone.

Henderson asked what it was doing there. “Boyle said he took the phone away to make sure she did not break the phone as she had broken phones in the past,” Henderson testified.

Boyle is on trial on 19 charges, including assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

His wife Caitlan Coleman, with whom he was held hostage in Afghanistan, is the principal complainant in the case. She’s expected to testify Wednesday.

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Tanker crash kills one, injures nine near Cereal Alberta

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Tanker crash

“One of the semi trucks was hauling fuel and that fuel ignited,” said RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott. “So, that caused other vehicles in the collision to catch fire. A second semi was hauling butane and that’s caused a concern.”

A release from RCMP also confirmed the collision area is “consumed with flames.”

As a result of the second truck hauling butane, a preliminary evacuation order had been issued for the hamlet of Chinook.

By 9:00 pm, Alberta Emergency Alert officially rescinded the evacuation order for the community.

STARS Air Ambulance has flown one person to hospital in Calgary in serious, potentially life-threatening condition while HALO transported another individual in serious condition.

Brideaux also confirmed to Global News that six people have been treated at the scene and are likely to be released.

RCMP are also reaching out to anyone who was a part of or was witness to the domino crash, asking them to meet with officers in nearby Oyen.

“We’re asking those people to attend the Legion in Oyen,” said Scott. “Right now the Legion has been opened, food is available at the Legion, our Victims Services Unit members are at the Legion, and we have an RCMP member or members at the Legion. So, anybody who was a part of this collision, witness or needing some assistance in relation to the collision, is asked to go to the Legion.”

There is no word yet on the original cause of the fatal crash, as Scott added it will be several hours before a collision analyst is able to attend the scene.

“We will have a collision analyst attending,” she said. “But, I can tell you that collision analyst is not able and has not been able to look at the scene to do any examination or investigation.”

Traffic has since been rerouted from Highway 9 to Highway 884 eastbound and Highway 41 westbound.

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