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Canadian Mountie describes stopping but then letting teen serial killer suspects go

A police officer described to DailyMailTV how he stopped – but then let go – the two alleged teen serial killers because news of their triple murder spree had not reached his small town in Manitoba, Canada.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Constable Albert Saunders stopped teenagers Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and searched their vehicle after they blew through a police checkpoint at Split Lake, northern Manitoba on July 22.

In an exclusive interview, Saunders said, ‘I didn’t really know those guys were on the run, that’s why I didn’t think much about it at first, until after they posted the pictures of them the next day,’ Saunders said.

The pair had allegedly gone on a murder rampage through British Columbia, 3,000 miles from where Saunders is based.

They are accused of killing Chynna Deese, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and her Australian boyfriend, 23-year-old Lucas Fowler in Liard Hot Springs, northern British Columbia.

They also allegedly murdered Vancouver botanist Leonard Dyck, 64, in Dease Lake, British Columbia, before stealing his gray 2011 Toyota RAV4.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Albert Saunders (picured) told DailyMail.com how he stopped Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky on July 22, in Split Lake, northern Manitoba. The next day the teens were named as suspects in three murders in British Columbia, 3,000 miles away. He said he found nothing in their car to make him suspicious

Still on the run: Kam McLeod (right) and Bryer Schmegelsky (left) are being hunted by Canadian police

Still on the run: Kam McLeod (right) and Bryer Schmegelsky (left) are being hunted by Canadian police 

Deese and Fowler’s bodies were found on July 15, Dyck’s was found on July 19.

But RCMP only warned its officers to be on the lookout for Canadians McLeod and Schmegelsky on July 23 – the day after Saunders spotted them.

Saunders said the teens drove past him and RCMP partner Morgan Spence at a traffic checkpoint in the RAV4, which had not yet been reported stolen.

Saunders said,’They slowed down and then they drove by. I had the lights on and I was standing outside the truck. Me and my partner jumped in the truck and we went to stop them.’

Saunders said the boys saw the police in pursuit and pulled over.

He said, ‘They turned off their engine, and I asked them why didn’t they stop, they were supposed to stop when the lights are on.  

‘They were just telling me ‘sorry’. I asked them where they came from. ‘Vancouver’ they told me. They looked scared.

‘I spoke to the one with the mustache, Kam Mcleod. He just kept saying, ‘Sorry’. They didn’t say where they were going.’

Saunders said he and his partner, both unarmed, then inspected the vehicle.

‘I told them I was going to do a quick search, and then I searched up,’ Saunders said. ‘They kept looking at each other. There was a couple of boxes in the back.’

Saunders only found survival gear when he searched the car. He did not see any weaponry. 

The bodies of Lucas Fowler, 24, and Chynna Deese, 23, (pictured) were found in Liard Hot Springs, northern British Columbia on April 15

The bodies of Lucas Fowler, 24, and Chynna Deese, 23, (pictured) were found in Liard Hot Springs, northern British Columbia on April 15

They also allegedly murdered Vancouver botanist Leonard Dyck, 64, in Dease Lake, British Columbia, before stealing his gray 2011 Toyota RAV4. It was this SUV that Corporal Saunders stopped the men in on July 22. At the time it had not been reported stolen

They also allegedly murdered Vancouver botanist Leonard Dyck, 64, in Dease Lake, British Columbia, before stealing his gray 2011 Toyota RAV4. It was this SUV that Corporal Saunders stopped the men in on July 22. At the time it had not been reported stolen

Saunders said, ‘I told them to stop next time there’s a situation like this, and they said ‘yep’ and ‘sorry’, and they went. They pulled into town, got some gas, then went. They were heading up towards Gillam.’

The RCMP constable described how he was wracked with guilt after discovering he could have stopped the alleged serial killers in their tracks.

‘I feel I could have done something more, like I should have done something earlier,’ he said.

As officers at the Split Lake traffic stop are unarmed and have no bullet-proof vests, Saunders said he felt he also had a close brush with death that day.

‘After I found out who they were I realized I could have got shot, or something could have happened to us. I was thinking about it a lot after I found out,’ he said.

Constable Spence’s cousin, Split Lake town councilor Robert Spence, told DailyMailTV his family member saw survival gear and maps when he searched their vehicle, but no weapons.

‘Morgan, was talking to the thinner one, Schmegelsky. He was quiet,’ said Spence.

‘Morgan said that they’d have to take a look around, check their vehicle for alcohol or drugs.

‘But looking at the vehicle that they were driving in, the constable said all that was in there was survival gear, blankets and a lot of maps,’ the councillor said.

‘They said that they were just going to come into the community, fuel up and head back out.’

At a press conference in Surrey, British Columbia on July 23 -  the day after Saunders stopped the teens - Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson Sergeant Janelle Shoihet named McLeod and Schmegelsky as suspects in three murders

At a press conference in Surrey, British Columbia on July 23 –  the day after Saunders stopped the teens – Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson Sergeant Janelle Shoihet named McLeod and Schmegelsky as suspects in three murders

Councillor Spence added that he believed the officers, unaware of the teens’ alleged murder spree, were lucky to walk away with their lives.

‘They were pretty freaked out about it. They said that anything could have happened, especially two constables that weren’t equipped or supplied with personal protective gear,’ he told DailyMailTV.

‘[Spence and Saunders were] dressed just like you and I, just regular clothes, no uniforms, no guns, no pepper spray, no batons, no nothing,’ he added.

‘All they do is stop the vehicle traffic coming into the community checking for alcohol and drugs. They were pretty damn lucky they didn’t get shot or killed for stopping those two individuals.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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