Daily News Roundup

August 13, 2019

Canada manhunt fugitives Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky died by suicide, police say

TUESDAY, August 13

Canadian police have confirmed that the two bodies found in northern Manitoba last week are those of the teenagers suspected of killing a Sydney man and his American girlfriend. 

Police said Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky apparently took their own lives. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the men had been dead for a few days before their bodies were found on August 7, near the town of Gillam, but it is not known exactly when they died. 

The two fugitives were suspected of killing Australian Lucas Fowler and his girlfriend Chynna Deese, and were charged with killing 64-year-old Leonard Dyck. 

Canadian police said two guns were found alongside the teens’ bodies and that they would conduct forensic analysis to confirm if they were used in the three murders. 

The manhunt spanned hundreds of kilometres across four Canadian provinces. 

Police said there were “strong indications” the fugitives were alive for a few days during the intensive search of the Gillam area. 

Police said the two teenagers drove the equivalent of London to Moscow which is roughly equivalent to the distance between Adelaide and Perth while on the run. 

Mr Fowler and Ms Deese were shot dead on the side of a highway south of Liard Hot Springs in British Columbia and their bodies were found on July 15. 

Mr Dyck’s body was found on July 19 on a British Columbia highway approximately 500 kilometres away. 

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A 9-year-old twin girl has drowned in the Ross River in Townsville near where two brothers, aged three and five died in February. 

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles said a group of children were playing at Ross River Park when the twin girls from Congo went into the water just after 4:00pm yesterday. 

“We now know at this stage that neither of those girls were very apt at swimming and as a result members of the public and family went into the water to assist them,” he said.

“One child was able to be removed from the water however, sadly, a second child went under the water and wasn’t unable to be located for another 30 minutes.”

Paramedics and Townsville Hospital staff were unable to revive the girl. 

The girl’s mother wasn’t at the park and arrived after the incident. 

He said charges would not be laid as there were no issues of negligence. 

“There was no suggestion or assertion that they should have been in the water and clearly there were strict instructions that they weren’t to be near the water,” Mr Miles said. 

“What we know is there was supposed to be a number of other individuals present and there seems to be a lack of communication of who was where at particular times.”

Police said the group of children was a mixture of friends and relatives aged 9 to 14 at the park by themselves. 

Authorities are investigating whether the girls tripped or slipped into the water. 

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The man suspected of shooting at people inside a Norwegian mosque, and of killing his stepsister has appeared in court with black eyes and wounds on his face and neck. 

Police are initially seeking to hold Philip Manshaus in custody for four weeks on suspicion of murder and breach of anti-terrorism law. 

Manshaus, who briefly smiled at photographers does not admit to any crimes, his lawyer said earlier on Monday. 

Eyewitnesses said Manshaus entered the al-Noor Islamic Centre with several guns, but was overpowered by a 65-year-old member of the mosque, who managed to wrestle away his weapons in the fight that followed. 

Manshaus did not speak while reporters were present, but smiled several times. 

“He is exercising his right not to be interrogated,” his defence lawyer said. “He is not admitting any guilt.”

Manshaus, a 21-year-old living near the mosque just outside the Norwegian capital, had expressed far-right, anti-immigrant views before the attack, police said earlier. 

Online postings under Manshaus’ name, made before the attack, expressed admiration for the massacre at two New Zealand mosques in March by a suspected right-wing extremist, in which more than 50 people were killed. 

Police have requested to hold Manshaus on suspicion of murder, as well as of breaching anti-terrorism law by spreading severe fear among the population. 

“The prosecuting authority will request that the person charged be remanded in custody for four weeks, with a ban on visits and communication, without access to the media and in solitary confinement,” police said in a statement. 

A guilty verdict on charges of breaching anti-terrorism laws can carry a sentence of up to 21 years in prison, as can the killing of the suspect’s 17-year-old stepsister, according to Norwegian sentencing guidelines.

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