Police are downplaying a photo that appeared overnight Thursday of a man claiming to be suspected B.C. killer Kam McLeod holding a newspaper with his and fellow suspect Bryer Schmegelsky on the front page.
Winnipeg RCMP were quick to discount the image on the force’s Twitter feed.
“We can confirm that the current photo circulating online of a man posing with the front page of yesterday’s paper IS NOT one of our suspects,” the tweet said.
The photo showed the man holding the newspaper with a campsite in the background.
“Gotta wonder if that guy can put one foot in Front of the other. Smiling about his similarity to a murderer,” one commenter on the Twitter feed wrote.
Police continue to hunt for the pair wanted in connection with three deaths on northern B.C. highways.
They are believed to be in the Gillam. Manitoba area, which has become the focus of an increased police presence.
Canada-wide warrants have been issued and second degree murder charges laid against McLeod and Schmegelsky in connection with the death of the Leonard Dyck of Vancouver, who was found a few kilometres from the teens’ burned-out pickup truck on Highway 37 near Dease Lake on July 19.
McLeod and Schmegelsky are also suspects in the killings of Australian Lucas Fowler and American Chynna Deese. Their bodies were found along the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs on July 15. No charges have yet been announced in that investigation.
McLeod and Schmegelsky are still considered armed and dangerous.
Manitoba RCMP are expected to provide a case update at 3 p.m. Manitoba time (1 p.m. PT).
Mounties said earlier they believe McLeod and Schmegelsky are still in the area around Gillam. There have been at least two confirmed and corroborated sightings.
An abandoned vehicle found Monday near Gillam is the grey 2011 Toyota RAV 4 the teens were seen driving in Saskatchewan. The last confirmed sighting of the pair was July 22, before the vehicle was recovered by police.
There have been no reported stolen vehicles attributed to the suspects since, police said, though officials said today that doesn't mean they have not left the area.
Emergency response teams, crisis negotiators, aircraft and police dogs are supporting the search around Gillam.
More to come.