Just days after the bodies of Canadian teen fugitives Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod were discovered by authorities, the father of one of the accused killers has broken his silence. The two teens are suspected of killing Australian man Lucas Fowler, his American girlfriend Chynna Deese and botanist Leonard Dyck, and Schmegelsky’s father Alan appeared on Sunday night’s episode of 60 Minutes to explain the impact the shocking crimes has had on his life – revealing that he’s also in pain.
“It hurts a lot, he was my only child. I’ll never get to hug him again, never get to tease him again, never get to spend time with him again,” he said of his 18-year-old son.
When asked how he felt that his son would be remembered as a killer, Alan admitted that it wasn’t “very good” and that there was “no glory in that”, explaining: “I wanted my son to be someone amazing. I wanted my son to have a future.”
Still, he admitted that he still doesn’t fully understand the circumstances around the tragic events and won’t brand his son a murderer until it’s proven, but said he sympathised with the families of those who have been killed.
“I have just I’m so sorry for what’s happened, ok? Whether it’s my son or whether it’s something else we don’t know,” Alan said. “I have just lost my son, I know exactly how he [father of the victims] would feel. “
Alan revealed the last contact he had from his son was when he’d explained he was “off to Alberta” but hadn’t heard anything since. Both teens had originally been reported missing, but police changed the status to ‘wanted’.
“My heart just sank,” he revealed. “I said to myself, ‘There’s a mistake. There’s got to be a mistake’.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Alan appeared happy that the teens evaded police, saying: “These boys are smart. These boys are intelligent … Kudos, boys.”
He also explained that his son often played violent video games and that he purchased him a toy weapon just last year because he thought it would get his teenager off the couch, but wouldn’t admit that the shocking crimes were his fault. Alan also explained that his son had been angry since his mother moved away with him when he was five, while the interview also revealed Alan had struggled with homelessness and mental health issues.
Schmegelsky eventually moved in with his grandmother and had learning difficulties, with Alan admitting that he was raised by YouTube and video games. He also praised McLeod during the interview, explaining he was “just a super cool kid” and that he was best friends with his son. Alan also claimed that he hadn’t noticed anything unusual about his son, other than the fact that he had an increased interest in camping in the bush.
And, while the discovery of his son’s body was a shock to Alan, he said it gave him closure and he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life wondering where his son was.
“I don’t want to be the guy that spends the rest of his life wandering the woods in Northern Manitoba, looking for his only child,” he said. “They’d be alive if they came forward to authorities. Why did they choose this fate?”
The bodies of Schmegelsky and McLeod were discovered last Thursday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, after they were suspected of shooting Fowler and his girlfriend along a remote stretch of the Alaska Highway and Dyck in a separate location.
An autopsy will be performed to confirm the identities of the men, while investigators try to piece together exactly what happened.