The father of one of the Canadian teenagers suspected of killing Australian tourist Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese expects his son’s alleged murderous rampage to end in ‘a blaze of glory’ gun battle with police.
Alan Schmegelsky, the father of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, says he believes his son is in ‘very serious pain’ and is on a ‘suicide mission.’
The teen and his alleged accomplice, Kam McLeod, 19, have been on the run since Fowler, 24, and Deese, 23, were found dead on the Alaska Highway, British Columbia, on July 15.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been swarming the small town of Gillam, Manitoba, a remote area of northern Canada, in their hunt for the two teenagers.
Mr Schmegelsky believes his son ‘wants his hurt to end,’ he told Canadian Press.
‘They’re going to go out in a blaze of glory. Trust me on this.’
Alan Schmegelsky says he expects his son Bryer to be dead ‘today or tomorrow’
Bryer Schmegelsky (pictured) 18, and his friend Kam McLeod, 19, have been named as murder suspects and are on the run. Bryer’s father believes his son is on a ‘suicide mission’
Mr Schmegelsky revealed Bryer had a troubled upbringing since his parents divorced when he was five and believes he’ll go down shooting.
‘Basically, he’s going to be dead today or tomorrow. I know that,’ he said, choking back tears.
‘Rest in peace, Bryer. I love you. I’m so sorry all this had to happen. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t rescue you.’
Bryer met McLeod while attending elementary school after he moved to Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, and the two have been best friends ever since.
Mr Schmegelsky said his son was ‘very introverted’ and spent a lot of time playing video games and watching YouTube.
‘They never got in trouble with law. They never got into fights. You know, they were just hanging out and having a good time,’ he said.
‘They were just everyday, regular kids. But both of them have to have a lot pain inside.
‘A normal child doesn’t travel across the country killing people,’ he said. ‘A child in some very serious pain does.’
He said his son ‘craved love and affection’ and hadn’t been ‘nurtured.’
‘All I can say is my son did not have any real guns. My son did not have vehicle, my son does not know how to drive.
‘So his influences haven’t been good. His influences have been YouTube and video games.’
Police are searching for Canadians Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, who are suspects in the brutal murders
Photos have emerged of Bryer Schmegelsky – one of the teenagers suspected of killing three people in northern British Columbia. He fantasized about acting out his violent video games in reality and wore Swastika-emblazoned clothing
McLeod’s father, Keith McLeod, released a statement emphasising his son’s compassionate nature despite communities across Canada being terrified of crossing paths with him.
‘This is what I do know – Kam is a kind, considerate, caring young man,’ Mr McLeod wrote.
The teens are suspected of murdering Mr Fowler, Ms Deese and Vancouver father Leonard Dyck in Canada’s western province of British Columbia and in the past few days driving more than 3,000km east to Gillam.
The RCMP announced on Wednesday they have charged McLeod and Schmegelsky with Mr Dyck’s second-degree murder.
Authorities were initially unable to identify Mr Dyck when his body was found last Friday on a BC highway.
The charge allows the RCMP to issue Canada-wide warrants for McLeod and Schmegelsky.
The teenagers’ second car, a Toyota RAV4 SUV, was found abandoned and on fire in bushland outside Gillam on Monday night.
Shot dead: Lucas Fowler, the 24-year-old son of an Australian police officer, and his girlfriend Chynna Deese, from Charlotte, North Carolina, were found dead on the Alaska Highway last Monday
Schmegelsky is one of the suspects in the murders of an Australian backpacker Lucas Fowler, 24, and Chynna Deese, 23, his American girlfriend, whose bodies were found in British Columbia on July 15. Pictured: The couple in the Grand Canyon
‘These suspects should not be approached and if you do see them to call 911 or your local police immediately,’ RCMP Corporal Julie Courchaine said on Wednesday.
Gillam, with a population of 1,265, is so isolated the mayor describes it as ‘the end of the road’.
If the teenagers did flee into the wilderness, Gillam’s Deputy Mayor John McDonald said they could not have picked a worse time.
‘The sandflies came out three days ago and they’re just voracious,’ he said.
The body of Vancouver father Leonard Dyck was discovered near a highway in British Columbia last week as police investigated the murders of Lucas Fowler, 24, and his 23-year-old girlfriend Chynna Deese
‘I’m quite sure they’ll be more than happy to have someone find them.’
But Mr Schmegelsky said his son and McLeod, childhood friends from the town of Port Alberni, were experienced in the wilderness and considered themselves ‘survivalists’.
‘If there’s any hope that Bryer and Kam are alive, it’s because they … would have gone into the woods and they know how to hide, because they’ve been doing this for the last two-and-a-half years,’ he said earlier this week.
McLeod and Schmegelsky first came on the RCMP’s radar on Friday when their Dodge pick-up truck was found burning 2km away from Mr Dyck’s body near Dease Lake, BC, and the duo went missing.
Canadian police confirmed on Wednesday that the grey 2011 Toyota RAV4 driven by Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, was found torched near the small town of Gillam in Manitoba – a wild and remote area of northern Canada
This is the red and grey Dodge ‘pickup truck’ that Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were travelling in when they disappeared
Mr Fowler, 23, from Sydney, and Ms Deese, 24, from North Carolina, were found shot dead and left in a ditch near their broken-down van 20km south of Liard Hot Springs, BC, nine days ago.
The couple was on a Canadian road trip.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Sergeant Janelle Shoihet confirmed this week McLeod and Schmegelsky were ‘in fact, alive and were last seen two provinces away’ in Saskatchewan.
Sgt Shoihet said the teens are believed to be dangerous, and revealed there are ‘suspicious things’ in regards to the truck and trailer, as well as the third person’s death.
‘We do believe they’re on the move and we’re asking all of Canada and all of the world to assist us in locating Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, who are now believed to be dangerous,’ she told ABC’s 7.30 on Wednesday.
A map showing where three bodies have been found and where the suspects are believed to be now
The two boys are from a small town on Vancouver Island, located on the far west coast of British Columbia.
Investigators also believed they may be targeting isolated areas as the three victims were found in regions that are not well-populated.
The suspects were also spotted in ‘very rural parts’ of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Sgt Shoihet said.
‘Maybe why they’re trying to go to those areas because they are less populated and may have less access to news agencies and be able to get the information out.’
Ms Shoihet, who has been an officer with the RCMP for more than 13 years, called the nature case ‘highly unusual.’
BRITISH COLUMBIA BACKPACKER FEARS: A TIMELINE
Monday, July 15, 2019: At 7.19am, Royal Mounted Canadian Police are called to the side of the road on the Alaska Highway, in remote British Columbia.
Police found the bodies of a young man and young woman about 20km south of the Liard Hot Springs, not far from a beat-up blue minivan.
Tuesday, July 16: Police publicly announce the two bodies were found dead on the side of Highway 97 but say ‘no further information is available’
Wednesday, July 17: Investigators ask anyone who may have seen, or have dashcam footage, between 4pm Sunday and 8am Monday to come forward
Thursday, July 18: Detectives confirm the identities of the two dead as Lucas Fowler, 24, and Chynna Deese, 23
Some 470km away near Dease Lake, police discover an abandoned truck and find the body of a man
July 21: Witness tells media of seeing a ‘bearded man’ having a ‘heated exchange’ with Fowler and Deese on the side of the highway
July 22: Pictures emerge of Fowler and Deese’s minivan with a blown out back window
Police issue urgent appeal for two men who have gone missing near Dease Lake, Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18
July 23: McLeod and Schmegelsky are named as suspects