British Columbia

3rd victim ID'd in Northern B.C. homicides, teen fugitives charged

Teen fugitives Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Vancouver man — the third victim in the recent killings in Northern B.C. Leonard Dyck was identified by police on Wednesday. 

Leonard Dyck of Vancouver found dead near burnt-out camper truck

Leonard Dyck of Vancouver was found dead on July 19 at a highway pullout in Northern B.C. Teen fugitives Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky have been charged with second-degree murder. (BC RCMP)

Teen fugitives Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Vancouver man — the third victim in the recent killings in Northern B.C. Leonard Dyck was identified by police on Wednesday. 

McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, were charged on Wednesday with one count of second-degree murder in Dyck's death.

Canada-wide warrants have been issued for both men. 

Dyck was found dead five days ago at a highway pullout about two kilometres from a burnt-out camper truck, discovered the same day, south of the B.C.'s Stikine River Bridge on Highway 37.

The burnt vehicle was later identified as belonging to McLeod and Schmegelsky.

The teens are also wanted in connection with the homicides of tourists Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese. No charges have been laid in connection to those deaths.

'Unthinkable grief'

In a statement, the Dyck family said it is "truly heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss."

"He was a loving husband and father. His death has created unthinkable grief, and we are struggling to understand what has happened."

Dyck is listed on the University of British Columbia website as a sessional lecturer in botany.

In a written statement, Sean Graham, the head of the university's botany department, wrote that the UBC community is "shocked and saddened by this news."

"We offer our deepest condolences to Mr. Dyck's family, friends and his colleagues at the university."

Robert deWreede, a professor emeritus of botany at UBC, was friends with Dyck for 20 years. He taught Dyck as an undergraduate student, a master's student, and worked with him on his PhD at UBC.

DeWreede said Dyck was retired, and is survived by his wife and two sons. He said he was passionate about his research, which focused on seaweed and how it survived when exposed to different environmental factors.

Robert deWreede was friends with Dyck for 20 years. (CBC News)

"[He was] a hard worker, a person who liked to discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of biology, someone who liked to think deeply about biological problems," he said.

He said Dyck loved to be in nature and go camping, sometimes with family and sometimes alone.

"I wasn't surprised, in the sense that he was up where he was found, because I know he liked to take those kinds of trips to northern B.C.," he said.

"I think it's horrible, I don't know what to say."

Police are now asking for information from anyone who may have spoken to Dyck during his travels in Northern B.C.

Images of McLeod and Schmegelsky in northern Saskatchewan, taken a few days after Dyck and two other people were found dead in B.C. (RCMP)

In a written statement, the B.C. RCMP said investigators across the country are sharing information to find McLeod and Schmegelsky.

They were spotted in Meadow Lake, Sask., on Sunday. A Toyota Rav4, later confirmed to have been driven by them, was found on fire in northeast Manitoba, near the town of Gillam, on Monday.

The BC RCMP Major Crime tiplines remain open in support of the Dyck, Fowler and Deese homicide investigations.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-543-4822 or 778-290-5291.

About the Author

Michelle Ghoussoub

@MichelleGhsoub

Michelle Ghoussoub is a journalist with CBC News in Vancouver. She has previously reported in Lebanon and Chile. Reach her at michelle.ghoussoub@cbc.ca or on Twitter @MichelleGhsoub.

With files from Lien Yeung