Father of one of the Canadian teens suspected of killing Australian backpacker and his American girlfriend apologises to the victim’s families – but refuses to call his son a killer
- Alan Schmegelsky apologised for son’s alleged actions after shooting in Canada
- His son Bryer is suspected of killing Lucas Fowler and girlfriend Chynna Deese
- Bryer and body of co-accused Kam McLeod found in bushland on Wednesday
- Mr Shmegelsky said after losing son he could understand victim’s families pain
The father of one of the Canadian teenagers suspected of killing Australian backpacker Lucas Fowler and his US girlfriend Chynna Deese has apologised to their families.
Alan Schmegelsky addressed the victim’s families in an interview with 60 Minutes saying he felt pain over the alleged actions of his 18-year-old son Bryer.
‘I’m so sorry for what’s happened, okay?’ he said.
‘Whether it’s my son or someone else, we don’t know. I have just lost my son, I know exactly how you [the families] feel.’
Bryer and co-suspect Kam McLeod, 19, have been accused of killing Mr Fowler and Ms Deese after their bodies were discovered in a ditch by their blue Chevrolet van in the western province of British Columbia July 15.
Bryer and co-suspect Kam McLeod, 19, have been accused of killing Mr Fowler and Ms Deese (pictured) after their bodies were discovered in a ditch by their blue Chevrolet van in the western province of British Columbia July 15
A 15-day manhunt for the alleged attackers led police across the country before they discovered two bodies believed to belong to the suspects a mile from the Nelson River near Gilam, Manitoba, Canada, on Wednesday morning (pictured left: Kam McLeod; pictured right: Bryer Schmegelsky)
A 15-day manhunt for the alleged attackers led police across the country before they discovered two bodies believed to belong to the suspects a mile from the Nelson River near Gilam, Manitoba, Canada, on Wednesday morning.
Schmegelsky’s father stopped short on calling his son a murderer when he spoke on 60 Minutes.
He said he wanted to get all the facts, but said he was living the ‘worst nightmare anyone could ever imagine’ following his son’s death.
The interview with 60 Minutes will air on Sunday and comes as speculation continues to surround the cause of death of the suspected killers.
Their final hide-out, a densely-wooded area, was found after local tour guide Clint Sawchuk spotted a blue sleeping bag tangled in some willows in the Nelson River last Friday.
Local media speculated that the teens could have succumbed to the harsh terrain, where threats included water contamination, anaphylactic shock and dangerous predators ranging from bloodsucking flies to a variety of bears.
At a press conference on Wednesday, officials said an autopsy will be performed on Thursday to confirm the identities of the deceased, along with when and how they died.
Officials have refused to speculate about the cause of the teens’ deaths.
The body discovery concluded a 15-day manhunt that began in the western Canadian province of British Columbia and spanned about 3,100 miles across five provinces
The bodies of Schmegelsky and McLeod were found less than a mile from the Nelson River (pictured) outside of Gillam
The discovery of the bodies concluded a 15-day manhunt that began in the western Canadian province of British Columbia and spanned about 3,100 miles across five provinces.
‘Our officers knew that we just needed to find that one piece of evidence that could move this search forward,’ Jane MacLatchy, assistant commissioner for Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba, said at Wednesday’s press conference.
Schmegelsky and McLeod were the sole suspects in the murders of North Carolina backpacker Chynna Deese, 24, and her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler, 23, as well as Vancouver botanist and father-of-two Leonard Dyck.
The heartbreaking saga began on July 15 in the western province of British Columbia when the bodies of Fowler and Deese were found in a ditch beside their broken down blue 1986 Chevrolet van.
The lovestruck couple was on a Canadian road trip.
Four days later Dyck was found dead on another BC highway some 300 miles away by Dease Lake. His Toyota RAV4 was missing and a Dodge pickup truck had been set on fire about a mile away.
Schmegelsky and McLeod are accused of killing American backpacker Chynna Deese (right) and her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler (left), who were found dead on July 15
The body of botanist Leonard Dyck, 64, was discovered on July 19 on a BC highway a mile away from an abandoned and burning pick-up truck Schmegelsky and McLeod had been driving
Police determined that the Dodge belonged to McLeod, who had vanished along with his childhood best friend Schmegelsky.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported the teens as missing on July 19, fearing that they had been killed or kidnapped by whomever committed the murders of Deese, Fowler and Dyck.
On July 24, RCMP announced that Schmegelsky and McLeod were suspects in the three murders after the RAV4 was found in flames near Gillam by local residents Billy and Tamara Beardy.
While Schmegelsky and McLeod are currently the only suspects in the three murders, police say their investigation will not close until it is proven they were responsible.
SUSPECTED SERIAL KILLERS ON THE RUN IN CANADA: A TIMELINE
July 12: Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky leave their hometown of Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, to search for work in Whitehorse, Yukon, according to family members
July 15: Police find the bodies of Chynna Deese, a 24-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Lucas Fowler, a 23-year-old from Sydney, Australia, on the side of Highway 97 about 12 miles south of Liard Hot Springs in remote British Columbia.
The blue 1986 Chevrolet van they were driving on their road trip through Canada is found nearby with a blown-out back window
July 18: McLeod’s torched Dodge pickup truck is found 300 miles away near Dease Lake
July 19: The body of Leonard Dyck, a 64-year-old Vancouver botanist, is found about a mile away from the burned-out remains of the truck McLeod and Schmegelsky were traveling in.
RCMP reports the teens as missing, fearing that they had been killed or kidnapped by whomever committed the murders of Deese, Fowler and Dyck
July 24: Schmegelsky and McLeod are named as suspects in the three murders after the RAV4 was found in flames near Gillam
July 29: York Landing in Manitoba is thrown into lockdown after two men were spotted foraging for food at local landfill, sparking a massive search by police, military, tracking dogs and drones
August 1: Police begin searching the province of Ontario, 1,200 miles from where the pair were last seen, after reports of a suspicious vehicle near Kapuskasing
August 2: Police say the sighting of the pair in Ontario was not credible, as Lucas Fowler’s friends and family hold an emotional memorial for him in Sydney.
Local tour guide Clint Sawchuk spots a blue sleeping bag in the Nelson River outside Gillam and contacts police
August 3: Sawchuk’s tip leads police to a battered row boat washed up on the river bank
August 6: The search diverts to the town of Sundance, which has been abandoned since 1992, and once housed a murder suspect for three years
August 7: Canadian Police announce that two male bodies believed to belong to McLeod and Schmegelsky were found in ‘dense bush’ by the Nelson River, five miles from where they abandoned the burning car.
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