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2019 Northern BC Murders - Leonard Dyck crime scene [1]

WARNING!: Description below may be disturbing to some readers.


This unmarked pullout along Highway 37 (Cassiar Highway) north of 40 Mile Flats, British Columbia marks one of the crime scenes of the 2019 Northern BC Murders.  Two teenage perpetrators, Kam McLeod, 19 & Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, both childhood friends from Port Alberni, British Columbia, went on a killing spree in Northern BC leading RCMP on a nationwide manhunt for over two weeks until they committed suicide in remote northern Manitoba.

According to police, the pair left their homes on July 12, 2019, telling family they were off in search of work in Whitehorse, Yukon. That same day, they bought an SKS semi-automatic rifle and a box of 20 rounds of ammunition from a Nanaimo, BC sporting goods store. McLeod had a legal possession and acquisition license.

On the morning of July 15, the first two victims — Chynna Deese, 24 and Lucas Fowler, 23 — were found near their van off of Highway 97 (Alaska Highway) south of Liard Hot Springs, BC. It appeared, police said, they had been shot multiple times. Police would later learn their van had broken down.

RCMP found spent and unspent casings with specific markers: head stamps indicating “101” (the factory where they were produced) and “75” (the year they were produced).  They also uncovered surveillance footage that captured the two killers driving their Dodge pickup truck and camper in the general area. On July 14, for instance, they had stopped to get gas, food and a cowboy hat at a gas station in Fort Nelson.

On the morning of July 19, the body of the third victim, Leonard Dyck, 64, a University of BC botany professor, was found at this highway pullout south of Dease Lake, B.C., about 500 kilometres west of the first crime scene. He, too, had been shot w/ burn marks. His body was located 2.5km south of a burning truck at another pullout — the one Schmegelsky and McLeod had been driving.

Investigators found a spent casing near the body bearing the same head stamps as they had found earlier: “101” and “75.”

As with the first crime scene, investigators uncovered critical surveillance footage from a Dease Lake store that showed the pair buying various items — donuts, a Coffee Crisp chocolate bar and two pairs of gloves — the day before.

Remnants of those items were found near the crime scene, police said, along with a damaged SIM card belonging to McLeod and his Walmart employee ID card.

Later on July 19, the pair purchased a crowbar and electrical tape from a Vanderhoof, BC, hardware store. They used the tape to put racing stripes on the hood of Dyck’s Toyota RAV4 — an apparent attempt to change the vehicle’s appearance.

The young men had initially been considered missing persons. Their families told police they were “good kids” who had sent photos of their travels and texted they had vehicle troubles. But on July 23, they were declared suspects. A search of the burnt truck uncovered a metal ammunition container containing rounds with head stamps matching those found at the crime scenes. A witness had also come forward, police said, to say that they knew the pair and “believed the boys may have been involved in the murders,” according to an RCMP briefing document.

Surveillance video captured the pair as they stopped at a gas station on July 21 in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. They were driving Dyck’s Toyota RAV4. They were spotted again at a McDonald’s on July 22. That same day they were briefly stopped at a checkpoint by a band constable in Split Lake, Manitoba. The constable later recalled that they had maps out inside the car and their fuel light was on — they were running close to empty. They were allowed to continue on.

The manhunt for McLeod and Schmegelsky converged on Gillam, Manitoba, where Dyck’s Toyota RAV4 was found burning in the area. Hundreds of officers descended on the region — marked by dense brush and swampy terrain — to begin a search with the aid of drones and dogs. On August 1, they discovered McLeod’s backpack containing a box of ammunition, his wallet and clothing. It would become evident that they were “dumping weight,” investigators said. They also located Dyck’s toiletry bag. And plates belonging to the RAV4 were dumped in a creek.

The trail eventually led to their bodies on August 7 along the banks of the Nelson River following a dead-end along a bluff. Two SKS semi-automatic rifles were found nearby, believed to be the same ones used in the three homicides in BC.  McLeod had shot Schmegelsky before shooting himself. Prior to their suicides, the pair made a 58-second video on their phones confessing to the murders w/ plans to hijack a boat & raft down the Nelson River into the Hudson Bay & then escape to either Africa or Europe.  In total they had eluded RCMP some 3,200km before their deaths.  Their motive is still not yet fully clear.

A memorial cross & rememberance for Leonard Dyck is situated where he was found.  



Copyright: William L
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 12804x6402
Taken: 29/06/2023
Uploaded: 14/12/2023


Tags: highway 37; british columbia; cassiar highway; crime scene; murder; homicide; solved; northern bc murders; 2019; violence; leonard dyck; cross; memorial; coast mountains
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