Security camera images of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are displayed during a news conference in Surrey, British Columbia, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Ontario police investigate possible sightings of northern B.C. murder suspects

Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod remain at large after being named murder suspects on July 23

Ontario Provincial Police have assigned a team of investigators to look into a spike in tips regarding two young men wanted in multiple murders in British Columbia.

Police said Friday the reports have come in from across the province, and investigators cannot confirm at this time whether any of the sightings are, in fact, of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and 19-year-old Kam McLeod.

A few possible sightings were reported in Ontario at a time when the hunt for the suspects was focused in Manitoba, and those were dealt with by local detachments, said Staff Sgt. Carolle Dionne.

But reports have been pouring in over recent days, with more than 30 coming in over eight hours Thursday, she said. As a result, a team was created to investigate the tips in a centralized manner, including revisiting earlier reports, she said.

While some reported sightings are quickly debunked, it’s important that people send in their information, Dionne said.

“The more information (there is), it makes it easier for us to follow up on … We can’t dismiss it either if it’s vague or doesn’t have enough content but it may take us longer to filter through and try to figure out was there any merit into this tip,” she said.

“We really don’t want to discourage people from continuing to report because it could be that one tip that might be legitimate, that might be a true sighting.”

The fact that so many people are flagging possible sightings shows the case has captured public attention, she said.

“It’s telling us that people are listening to the news and people are being extra vigilant … And there’s that heightened sense of, ‘hey, we don’t know where they are, we don’t know where they may be, they could show up in my backyard.’”

Provincial police are working with the RCMP as they probe incoming reports, Dionne said.

READ MORE: Father of suspect in 3 B.C. deaths expects son will go out in ‘blaze of glory’

A manhunt spanning several provinces began last week after Schmegelsky and McLeod were named as suspects in three killings.

Vancouver researcher Leonard Dyck and Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese were found dead last month in northern B.C.

Ontario Provincial Police warn the two suspects are considered dangerous and should not be approached.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Manitoba Manhunt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Don’t take hair into your own hands, urge Okanagan stylists

New Vernon shop expects high demand come May, since opening delayed

Virtual physio connects patients with Vernon practitioners

Many local physiotherapists are ready to assist, online

Burning permits doused in pair of North Okanagan electoral areas

Regional District of North Okanagan Areas B and C cancel permits to combat COVID-19 virus

Vernon, Kelowna denturists hit hard amid COVID-19

Okanagan denture clinics wonders if they’ll ever be able sustain the sting of pandemic

No need to press the walk button at Vernon crosswalks

City automating intersections in response to COVID-19

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

COLUMN: Plenty of online reading options

Libraries are closed due to COVID-19 but downloads are available through Okanagan Regional Library

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read