World / Crime & Legal

Canadian teen murder suspects left final video message before committing suicide, report says

AFP-JIJI

Two teen murder suspects who led police on a manhunt through the Canadian wilds this summer recorded a video message before apparently taking their own lives, local media said Tuesday.

Federal police would not confirm the video’s existence.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, were suspected of killing an Australian man and his American girlfriend, and a Canadian university professor.

The teens’ bodies were found in northern Manitoba’s dense brush on Aug. 7 after a massive search across swampy, forested terrain inhabited by wolves and bears.

The Toronto Star said they used a cellphone to record their “last will and testament” before what police have described as “suicides by gunfire.”

A family member told the daily that about 30 seconds of the video was shared with the families of McLeod and Schmegelsky.

Its full length is not publicly known.

The video could provide insight into the pair’s motives and help explain how the childhood friends managed to evade capture during a weeks-long 3,000-km (1,860-mile) chase.

Police had deployed tracker dogs, a drone and search planes equipped with infrared cameras over an area that stretched halfway across Canada, from British Columbia to Manitoba.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are examining two firearms located with the teens to determine whether they were used in the British Columbia murders.

Investigators and the RCMP behavioral analysis unit are also trying to piece together the events that led to the shootings.

In an interview last month with the Canadian Press as the manhunt ramped up, Schmegelsky’s father said his son was deeply troubled and had never recovered from his parents’ divorce in 2005.

“He’s on a suicide mission,” Alan Schmegelsky said.

The two teens were wanted for three apparently random murders.

Australian Lucas Fowler, 23 and American Chynna Deese, 24, were discovered shot to death on July 15 along a highway in British Columbia.

The body of 64-year-old botany professor Leonard Dyck, the third victim, was found July 19.