Canadian police said Monday they believe two teenage fugitivesthree people and setting off a two-week manhunt shot themselves to death. The Manitoba medical examiner completed the autopsies and confirmed that the were indeed 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky. They were wanted for the murders of a North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend as well as a Canadian man.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement that "the two died in what appears to be suicides by gunfire."
"While both individuals were deceased for a number of days before they were found, the exact time and date of their deaths are not known. However, there are strong indications that they had been alive for a few days since last seen in July and during the extensive search efforts in the Gillam area," the RCMP said.
Both were found in dense bush in northern Manitoba.
McLeod and Schmegelsky were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck and were suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose bodies were found July 15 along the Alaska Highway about 300 miles from where Dyck was killed.
Two firearms were found with the bodies of McLeod and Schmegelsky. Authorities are conducting forensic analysis to determine whether those weapons were connected to the ongoing homicide investigations.
A manhunt for the pair had spread across three provinces and included the Canadian military. The suspectssince a burned-out car was found on July 22.
The bodies were found near Gillam, Manitoba. A police helicopter initially spotted a damaged boat along the Nelson River last week and a follow-up search in the area uncovered the items directly linked to the two in what was described as very tough terrain.
The discoveries of the three murder victims last month shook rural northern British Columbia.
Schmegelsky's father, Alan Schmegelsky, said earlier that he expected the nationwide manhunt to end in the death of his son, who he said was on "a suicide mission."
McLeod and Schmegelsky both grew up on Vancouver Island and worked at a local Walmart before they set off together on what their parents thought was a trip to Yukon for work.
McLeod and Schmegelsky themselves were originally considered missing persons and only became suspects later.
Police were investigating a photograph of Nazi paraphernalia allegedly sent online by one of the suspects. Schmegelsky allegedly sent photographs of a swastika armband and a Hitler Youth knife to an online friend on the video game network Steam.