Dramatic turn in hunt for teens suspected of killing Aussie and girlfriend

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Bryer Schmegelsky (left) and Kam McLeod are suspects in the deaths of Australian man Lucas Fowler and his partner Chynna Deese. Source: Twitter/7News Adelaide - Facebook/ NSW Police

The hunt for two teenagers suspected of killing Australian man Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese on a remote Canadian highway has taken an unexpected turn, after a wrecked rowboat was found washed up on the shore of a Canadian river.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced on Saturday via social media that they were sending an underwater search team to the Nelson River near Gillam – a town in Canada where triple murder suspects Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, are claimed to have dumped their stolen Toyota RAV4 on July 22. There have been no confirmed sightings of the pair since and it’s reportedly feared they may have died in the vessel.

The RCMP also confirmed the damaged boat was found during a helicopter search of the river on Friday afternoon.

“RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) will conduct a thorough underwater search of significant areas of interest today,” police said in a statement on Sunday.

Although the boat is not directly linked to Schmegelsky and McLeod, there’s growing speculation it may have been damaged travelling through rapids on the river after the RCMP released photos of the rowboat.

“This is the damaged aluminium boat found by #rcmpmb officers on the shores of the Nelson River during a helicopter search on Friday afternoon,” police said in the statement. 

Meanwhile, RCMP Inspector Leon Fiedler told Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail the boat had gone through some rapids and has been “significantly damaged”.

“We’re going to search in the area around where we found this boat just to make sure that there is nobody attached to it, whether that is our subjects or anyone else for that matter,” he added.

Schmegelsky and McLeod were formally charged for the murder of a third man, Leonard Dyck, from Vancouver last Wednesday.

They are also suspected of shooting Fowler and his girlfriend Deese, who were discovered on a remote stretch of the Alaska Highway on July 15 around 20km from the popular Liard Hot Springs after being shot, although no charges have yet been brought in relation to their deaths.

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