Two teenagers who prompted a Canada-wide manhunt are thought to have died in suicides “by gunfire”, police say.
A post-mortem examination has confirmed that bodies found last week in northern Manitoba are those of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18.
They were suspected of three murders – those of an Australian-US couple and a Canadian man.
The two-week hunt for the suspects ended last Wednesday when their bodies were found near Gillam.
The community of Gillam had become the centre of the massive search for the two young men.
McLeod and Schmegelsky were last seen alive on 22 July. A burnt-out car belonging to one of their alleged victims, Leonard Dyck, was found near Gillam on 23 July.
On Monday, police said that McLeod and Schmegelsky had been dead for a number of days before their bodies were found, though authorities cannot confirm the exact date of death.
“However, there are strong indications that they had been alive for a few days since last seen in July and during the extensive search efforts in the Gillam area,” the British Columbia RCMP said in a statement.
Two firearms found near their bodies are being tested to definitively confirm they are connected with the homicide investigations into the deaths of Chynna Deese, a 24-year-old American, and her Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, 23, and Dyck, 64.
Investigators say they are now assessing all the findings in the cases so far “in order to gain more clarity” into what happened to Dyck, Fowler, and Deese.
What do we know about the pair?
McLeod and Schmegelsky, both from Vancouver Island, were on their way to Yukon territory for work when police reported them missing last month.
But authorities soon named them as suspects in the deaths of Deese and Fowler, who had been found shot dead in northern British Columbia on 15 July.
They were also charged with the murder of Dyck, a Canadian university professor whose body was found on 19 July, also in British Columbia.
McLeod and Schmegelsk were considered “armed and dangerous” and the public were warned not to approach them.
The teenagers were later seen 3,300km (2,050 miles) to the east, in Manitoba, where police concentrated their search.