Teen fugitive’s dad won’t call son a killer

 

The father of one of the teens suspected of killing Australian Lucas Fowler, his girlfriend Chynna Deese and Canadian Leonard Dyck will appear on 60 Minutes on Sunday.

Alan Schmegelsky, who weeks ago predicted his son Bryer would die in a "blaze of glory", has reportedly told 60 Minutes he can't say his son is a murderer following the discovery of his son's body and that of co-accused Kam McLeod.

"I'm not going to say my son is a murderer until I get some facts," he tells 60 Minutes.

Mr Schmegelsky said he was feeling the same pain as that of the Fowler and Deese family, who have lost their children.

"When someone in your family dies, I know that f***ing pain," Schmegelsky tells Abo in an exclusive sneak peek. "This is the worst nightmare anyone could ever imagine."

Bryer Schmegelsky's father Alan Schmegelsky has spoken to 60 Minutes. Picture: 60 Minutes
Bryer Schmegelsky's father Alan Schmegelsky has spoken to 60 Minutes. Picture: 60 Minutes

Canadian police have reportedly headed back to the site on the Nelson River where the teens' bodies were discovered.

The Global News reports that six officers are expected to take two boats along the river and use metal detectors to try and find any additional evidence.

Police are now focusing on forensic examinations to determine how the teens spent their last days on the run.

Autopsies on McLeod and Schmegelsky may not be conducted until early next week according to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) media spokesman, but the results will likely yield some answers as to where they were hiding and what they were doing as the country's biggest ever manhunt raged around them.

Thrill killers Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18. Picture: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press
Thrill killers Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18. Picture: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

The autopsy should almost immediately determine their cause of death and how long ago they died.

It is also possible examinations of the bodies will reveal whether they had been camping in the bushland and what they survived on in their last days.

But it will take several weeks for the results of tissue and organ samples to reveal whether the pair had any drugs or other substances in their system.

And it make take even longer for the police to reconstruct the crime scenes and link the series of events that led to the teenagers being identified as the suspected triple murderers.

Some of the details may never be publicly released, according to RCMP Corporal Chris Manseau.

The remains of one of the teenage killers is carried away in a metal coffin. Picture: Twitter
The remains of one of the teenage killers is carried away in a metal coffin. Picture: Twitter

Corporal Manseau told News Corp Australia that many details are usually not released unless it is likely to help or advance an investigation.

Some of those details which have been left unanswered include whether Mr Dyck died in the same manner as Mr Fowler and Ms Deese. So far police have declined to release that information out of respect to the family.

The teenage friends had been charged with the second degree murder of Mr Dyck, but not with the murders of the others.

An RCMP spokesman said they had been working on it and charges were being prepared, before the discovery of the bodies of the fugitives.

The torched Toyota Rav4 which belonged to Mr Dyck. Picture: Supplied
The torched Toyota Rav4 which belonged to Mr Dyck. Picture: Supplied

But it has been established that the Toyota Rav4 the fugitives were driving and later burnt belonged to Mr Dyck.

It appears that the teenagers killed Mr Dyck and stole his car and belongings before setting off in their escape across northern Canada.

It may have been Mr Dyck's camping gear including a sleeping bag that was seen in the car when the fugitives were stopped and searched for alcohol at a checkpoint in Tataskweyak Cree nation, and that was found on the shores of the Nelson River.

Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese. Picture: Supplied via the Charlotte Observer.
Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese. Picture: Supplied via the Charlotte Observer.

Interestingly, the community police who searched the Rav4 for alcohol did not find any weapons. It is not known what happened to the gun used to kill Mr Fowler and Ms Deese, or whether it was used in the killing of Mr Dyck.

A blue sleeping bag was spotted by tour guide Clint Sawchuk who was cruising on the Nelson River, taking a group of tourists to the historic site of York Factory, in the water and tangled up in some willows.

Botanist and father of two Leonard Dyck. Picture: RCMP/ Supplied
Botanist and father of two Leonard Dyck. Picture: RCMP/ Supplied

He knew the sleeping bag could be significant because he was one of a handful of local residents who had been helping police look for any sign of the fugitives.

The discovery of the sleeping bag led police to spot a wrecked tin boat later that day, which then triggered a search on an area where two bodies were found on Wednesday.

The aluminium row boat was severely damaged and had gone through Lower Limestone Rapids, according to RCMP. But it is not known if the boat was used by the suspects or whose boat it was.

The RCMP in British Columbia said even though the suspected killers are dead, the investigation is not over.

Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett said it will now be "extremely difficult" to determine what may have motivated Schmegelsky and McLeod to kill three people 470km apart before fleeing across the country to Manitoba.

"Obviously we will not have the opportunity to speak with these individuals," Assistant Commissioner Hackett said.

Bryer Schmegelsky, left, and Kam McLeod were friends since childhood. Picture: Supplied
Bryer Schmegelsky, left, and Kam McLeod were friends since childhood. Picture: Supplied

"There may be additional items (linked to the suspects) that could help in that regard … but we don't have that information yet.

"We still need to ensure our investigative findings - whether it's statements, evidentiary timelines, physical or digital evidence - continues to confirm our investigative theory and eliminates any other possibilities or suspects.

"Until that is completed we will not conclude this file."

Gillam police during the search for fugitives Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod. Picture: Clint Brewer/News Corp Australia
Gillam police during the search for fugitives Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod. Picture: Clint Brewer/News Corp Australia

An RCMP post on Twitter thanked the public, the Canadian armed force and other partners including the communities of Gillam Fox Lake Cree Nation, Ilford War Lake First Nation and York Landing for their help acknowledging their lives had been disrupted and that "many of you lived with uncertainty and fear".

As the news sunk in about the death of the fugitives, friends and relatives of Mr Dyck had raised almost $US13,000 ($A19,000) on a Go Fund Me page to help his widow Helen and two sons.

Ms Deese's mother Sheila said she was "torn" as to whether she wanted to see them captured dead or alive.

In a social media post, Ms Deese said: "I did not know if I could look my daughter's killers in the face. Many commented, now I could have my closure, not true."