Editorial: Fugitive killers saga may not result in a satisfying conclusion

It's easy to get lost in the bush in Northern Manitoba. Conversely, once you are out there, it is difficult for others to find you.

Manitoba RCMP have clearly used all their resources in the search for B.C. homicide suspects Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, since the Toyota Rav4 the pair had been driving was discovered burning near Gillam and Fox Lake Cree Nation July 22. Special units, dogs, divers, drones and helicopters have all been employed in the search efforts, but despite a tip July 28 that they had been spotted in York Landing which prompted a massive redeployment of RCMP resources to that community, the two fugitives have not been found.

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While rumours about the pair’s whereabouts have been flooding the internet, along with theories about where or how they may have escaped the Gillam area without being detected, all we really know for certain right now is that they were there at some point and no one knows where they are anymore, except perhaps themselves. They could be hiding out, they could have left the area, they could be dead in the bush from either self-inflicted wounds or those doled out by Mother Nature.

Right now, the pair occupy a realm where anything is possible, even if those things seem contradictory. They could be stupid for having fled to an isolated area with only one road in and one road out and then drawing attention to the fact that they had been there by setting their vehicle on fire. Or they could be cunning for having done so and diverting police attention to this remote part of Manitoba while making an escape elsewhere. Until and unless they are found, we won’t know for sure. Even then, we will only know if they are found alive, if they are willing to talk, and if we choose to believe them.

The story of McLeod and Schmegelsky, who are suspects in the murder of an Australian man and an American woman in northern B.C., and have been charged with the murder of a B.C. man who was found not far from a truck the two had been driving, which was also set on fire, has just enough information to make it compelling, and just enough mystery to keep everyone who is following on the edge fo their seats, waiting to see if they will be caught or found. But the truth is, there is a pretty good chance that we will never find out what happened, and that they will never be captured or found dead. It wouldn’t be the first time a murder suspect in Canada has gotten away by taking off into the bush. If that does turn out to be the case, however, it won’t be due to a lack of effort on the part of the Manitoba RCMP.

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