Security camera images of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are displayed during a news conference in Surrey, British Columbia, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Ontario police investigate possible sightings of northern B.C. murder suspects

Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod remain at large after being named murder suspects on July 23

Ontario Provincial Police have assigned a team of investigators to look into a spike in tips regarding two young men wanted in multiple murders in British Columbia.

Police said Friday the reports have come in from across the province, and investigators cannot confirm at this time whether any of the sightings are, in fact, of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and 19-year-old Kam McLeod.

A few possible sightings were reported in Ontario at a time when the hunt for the suspects was focused in Manitoba, and those were dealt with by local detachments, said Staff Sgt. Carolle Dionne.

But reports have been pouring in over recent days, with more than 30 coming in over eight hours Thursday, she said. As a result, a team was created to investigate the tips in a centralized manner, including revisiting earlier reports, she said.

While some reported sightings are quickly debunked, it’s important that people send in their information, Dionne said.

“The more information (there is), it makes it easier for us to follow up on … We can’t dismiss it either if it’s vague or doesn’t have enough content but it may take us longer to filter through and try to figure out was there any merit into this tip,” she said.

“We really don’t want to discourage people from continuing to report because it could be that one tip that might be legitimate, that might be a true sighting.”

The fact that so many people are flagging possible sightings shows the case has captured public attention, she said.

“It’s telling us that people are listening to the news and people are being extra vigilant … And there’s that heightened sense of, ‘hey, we don’t know where they are, we don’t know where they may be, they could show up in my backyard.’”

Provincial police are working with the RCMP as they probe incoming reports, Dionne said.

READ MORE: Father of suspect in 3 B.C. deaths expects son will go out in ‘blaze of glory’

A manhunt spanning several provinces began last week after Schmegelsky and McLeod were named as suspects in three killings.

Vancouver researcher Leonard Dyck and Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese were found dead last month in northern B.C.

Ontario Provincial Police warn the two suspects are considered dangerous and should not be approached.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Fire departments extinguish suspicious wildfire near West Kelowna

Crews established a fire guard and knocked down the blaze before it grew to one hectare.

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okanagan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

UPDATE: Man in custody after alleged impaired hit-and-run in downtown Kelowna

The victim remains in serious yet stable condition after being struck Saturday night

Kelowna Share Society celebrates International Thrift Shop Day with BBQ

Event helps society say thank-you for community support

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read