British Columbia

What we know about Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, targets of national manhunt

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are the subjects of a national manhunt after RCMP named them as suspects in the double homicide of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese and charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Vancouver man.

Schmegelsky's father says his son is 'in very serious pain'

Images of murder suspects Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky recorded in northern Saskatchewan, a few days after three people were found dead in B.C. (RCMP)

UPDATE: Aug. 13, 2019 — RCMP have confirmed two bodies found in northern Manitoba are Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.


Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are the subjects of a national manhunt after RCMP named them as suspects in the double homicide of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese and charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Vancouver man.

Fowler, 23, an Australian, and Deese, 24, an American, were discovered shot to death along the side of the Alaska Highway south of Liard Hot Springs, B.C., on July 15.

Four days later, McLeod and Schmegelsky's burnt-out truck was found near the community of Dease Lake, B.C., more than 470 kilometres away from the first crime scene.

The body of Leonard Dyck, a sessional instructor at the University of British Columbia, was found two kilometres south of that truck. McLeod and Schmegelsky were charged with second-degree murder on July 24.

RCMP are now searching the area around York Landing, Man., for the pair, after a credible tip redirected officers from the community of Gillam, 90 kilometres away.

Here's what we know about McLeod and Schmegelsky.

A person who met Schmegelsky on the gaming site called Steam said that the 18-year-old sent him photos of his Nazi regalia last year. (Submitted)

They are from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island and have been friends since elementary school. Both worked at a local Walmart.

CBC News has confirmed that McLeod recently attended Alberni District Secondary School. It's unclear if Schmegelsky also went there. 

Families speak out

In a written statement, Keith McLeod called his son Kam "a kind, considerate, caring young man [who] always has been concerned about other people's feelings."

He said the family is "trapped" in their home due to media attention on the case.

"We try to wrap our heads around what is happening and hope that Kam will come home to us safely so we can all get to the bottom of this story."

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Schmegelsky's father, Alan Schmegelsky said his son had a troubled upbringing. He struggled through his parents' acrimonious split in 2005 and his main influences became video games and YouTube.

Schmegelsky was fascinated with Nazi history, according to the fellow gamer he met on Steam. (Submitted)

He said his son is "in very serious pain."

"A normal child doesn't travel across the country killing people."

Schmegelsky said he expects his son will die in a confrontation with police. 

"He's on a suicide mission. He wants his pain to end," he said, breaking down into tears.

Schmegelsky's father posted this photo of him and his son in August 2016. The caption read 'Bryer's first day at work!' (Al Schmegelsky/Facebook)

RCMP releases new footage

RCMP have released photos of the two fugitives taken in northern Saskatchewan on July 21. McLeod can be seen wearing a T-shirt with a cartoon image and the caption "A wild Cathulhu appears."

Video shows McLeod and Schmegelsky walking through a store in Meadow Lake, Sask., on July 21:

RCMP have confirmed that Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were seen in Meadow Lake, Sask. If spotted, the suspects should not be approached, and RCMP say 911 or local police should be contacted immediately. 0:16

The caption references Cthulhu, a fictional and menacing octopus-like character created by horror writer H.P. Lovecraft in the 1920s. It's also a character in a number of video games including Terraria, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and World of Warcraft.

Schmegelsky can be seen wearing a camouflage-patterned jacket.

Branden McHale, a friend of McLeod's, described him as a big gaming nerd and a happy person. 

"He didn't have a lot of friends, but he was really funny," said McHale.

He said McLeod was mostly into fantasy video games like League of Legends.

Schmegelsky's Facebook profile image. (Bryer Schmegelsky/Facebook)

McHale described Schmegelsky as somewhat shy. 

"Bryer was really quiet with people. He was really loud-spoken in his friend group but pretty quiet in general."

Former friends and neighbours speak about Schmegelsky:

Bryer Schmegelsky, along with Kam MacLeod, is a suspect in 3 murders in Northern B.C., and are the subjects of a Canada-wide manhunt. 1:09

A person who met Schmegelsky on the gaming site Steam, and who spoke to CBC News on the condition of anonymity, said the 18-year-old was fascinated by Nazi history and last year sent him photos of his Nazi regalia.

On Monday, when the pair were still considered missing, Schmegelsky's father told Victoria's CHEK News the teens considered themselves survivalists.

Al Schmegelsky said they "liked to go into the woods and play war" and were trained in camouflage. 

McLeod in an undated photo provided by his father. (Keith McLeod)

"If there's any hope that Bryer and Kam are alive, it's because they … would have gone into the woods and they know how to hide, because they've been doing this for the last two and a half years," he said. 

"They're non-violent, they're good people. Never got in trouble or anything."

On Tuesday, after the pair was identified as suspects, he told CHEK reporter April Lawrence that he didn't know if his son committed the killings, but that he saw no red flags. 

According to Lawrence, he also described himself as "likely now the most hated dad in the country."

The RCMP released photos of the two fugitives taken in the last few days in northern Saskatchewan. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

About the Author

Karin Larsen

@CBCLarsen

Karin Larsen is a former Olympian and award winning sports broadcaster covering BC teams and athletes for 25 years.

With files from Adam van der Zwan, Tanya Fletcher and the Canadian Press