North Carolina

Teen suspects in murder of NC woman and boyfriend died by suicide, Canadian cops say

The two teens suspected of brutally killing three people, including a vacationing Charlotte woman and her boyfriend in British Columbia died by suicide, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Monday .

The bodies found Aug. 7 were confirmed to be homicide suspects Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, the Manitoba Medical Examiner said Monday after performing autopsies.

The teenagers died in “suicides by gunfire,” police said in a news release. The teens were dead for a number of days before their bodies were discovered, according to the release.

Police said the two bodies were discovered in dense brush near the Nelson River in Canada, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Two guns were found with the bodies of McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, 18, which forensic analysis shows were used in the killing of Chynna Noelle Deese of Charlotte and her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, of Australia, police said.

McLeod and Schmegelsky had been on the run for nearly a month in connection with the killings of three people in northern British Columbia, including Deese and Fowler.

Deese, a 2013 Myers Park High School graduate, and Fowler were shot to death July 14 or 15 along the Alaska Highway in British Columbia, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Days later, a pickup truck connected to the suspects was discovered burning beside the road, and the body of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck was located a mile away, said a release. Police charged the two teens in Dyck’s death.

Nothing indicates the victims were “targeted” for a particular reason, Hackett said.

The killings got international attention, in part because Fowler is the son of a ranking police official in New South Wales, Australia, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Fowler had recently gotten a job on a ranch in Canada, according to the Deese family.

Deese and Fowler had been a couple for three years, and were in Canada for a three-week road trip, her family told the Charlotte Observer.

Teams searched hundreds of miles of territory in Canada for McLeod and Schmegelsky.

The manhunt ended when the teens’ bodies were discovered about five miles from the spot that Dyck’s Rav4 truck was found on July 22, according to police.

Police are continuing to investigate the deaths of Deese, Fowler and Dyck.

In a statement from Deese’s family, they said “we want to thank the Canadian authorities and their diligence in the pursuit of justice to bring these individuals to account.”

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.