Photos show missing B.C. teens' burned truck; remains still not identified
Published Tuesday, July 23, 2019 8:14AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 24, 2019 7:50AM PDT
Editor's note: The missing teens are now considered suspects. The article below has been updated to reflect the development.
Photos show the charred husk that remained following a pickup truck fire that sparked a search for two teens late last week.
The images from the scene on Highway 37, about 50 kilometres south of the small northern B.C. community of Dease Lake, show what was a red and grey Dodge pickup.
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Now, the truck is covered in rust and pale grey ash. Its roof is dented and the camper that was on the back is gone.
The truck was found burning on the highway on Friday. RCMP called to investigate were led to discover a man's body on a highway pullout two kilometres away.
Officers are still working to identify that man, who was described as between the ages of 50 and 60, and between 5'8" and 5'10". He had a heavy build, they say, and a grey beard and grey hair.
A sketch was released this week in an effort to solicit tips from the public.
Authorities have not said how the man is connected to the truck, but did say on Tuesday that the teens who'd been driving it are wanted in connection with the death.
At a news conference Monday, Mounties said they're still looking for two Vancouver Island teenagers who were driving across B.C. and the Yukon while looking for work.
Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, of Port Alberni, were last seen in the vehicle with the B.C. licence plate LW6433 at around 3:15 p.m. Thursday, July 18. The 19- and 18-year-olds were leaving the Super A general store in Dease Lake.
Officers said they don't know if the teens and their truck have any connection to the deceased.
McLeod and Schmegelsky were initially treated as missing persons, as they hadn't made contact with family and friends in several days. As they search for the young men from the air and using dogs, police asked them to reach out to loved ones or the RCMP to let someone know they're OK.
However, after announcing the pair are suspects in three deaths, police are now advising the public to call 911 immediately if they see either man.
They are considered dangerous, and members of the public should not try to approach them or take any actions other than calling police.
Both are about 6'4" and 170 pounds. McLeod has dark brown hair, brown eyes and facial hair, while Schmegelsky has been described only as having sandy brown hair. Police issued photos of the men, hoping someone who has seen them will reach out.
The RCMP asks anyone with information on the deceased, the truck fire or the whereabouts of McLeod and Schmegelsky to contact them at 1-877-543-4822, or to leave a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
The teens are also wanted in connection with a double homicide that occurred on another northern B.C. highway.
The truck and body were found within a week of another grim discovery on the Alaska Highway. An Australian man and his American girlfriend were found fatally shot the morning of July 15.