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Manhunt for teen B.C. homicide suspects puts Manitoba community on edge

People in northern Manitoba are tense after RCMP announced two men in a national manhunt could be in the area — and a car matching the one they were last seen driving was found burning and abandoned near a First Nation.”It’s an understandable fear for our community members. It’s an unknown for anyone, as far as whether they [suspects] are or are not in the community,” said Dwayne Forman, mayor of the town of Gillam.

His advice for people in the area is to “stay safe, stay indoors, and if you’re travelling alone, I wouldn’t recommend it. Travel in groups and keep your eyes open for any suspicious individuals.”

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are considered armed and dangerous and wanted by police in connection with the shooting deaths of a tourist couple in northern British Columbia last week, as well as in the suspicious death of another man whose body was found days later near Dease Lake, B.C.

Police said on Tuesday the two men were spotted in northern Saskatchewan on Sunday and could now be in Manitoba.

Gillam is 55 kilometres southwest of Fox Lake Cree Nation, where the abandoned and torched vehicle was found in bush off Highway 290 — which links the two communities along the Nelson River. Forman said the vehicle was reported on fire around 7 p.m. CT Monday. RCMP have not confirmed whether or not it is connected to the manhunt. Hardeep Sahota, who works in a restaurant at Kettle River Inn and Suites in Gillam, said she typically keeps the back door open for fresh air. Not this morning, however.

“I was thinking maybe they might come from the back, so I just let close the back door. I have to be very careful, because they might be hungry and they will come and eat,” she said. She also had her son-in-law drive her to work on Wednesday, rather than walk as she normally would.

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