Canadian military provides aircraft support to search for homicide suspects

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OTTAWA, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian Armed Forces are helping the manhunt in northern Manitoba province for two young men suspected of three homicides, CTV News reported Saturday.

In an emailed statement to CTV News Saturday, the Canadian Department of National Defence said it will send a Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft to help an ongoing search for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, in the remote wilderness outside of Gillam of Manitoba, after they received a request from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The department said the forces plan to aid the RCMP "until they indicate that our assistance is no longer required."

The statement came after the RCMP said Friday the two suspects might have already left the Gillam area thanks to someone who might have "inadvertently" helped them flee.

Heavily armed police have been scouring Gillam and the surrounding area for the past week after a burned-out SUV used by the suspects was uncovered near Gillam on Monday. Police have also set up vehicle checkpoints on the only road in and out of the remote town.

McLeod and Schmegelsky set off a Canada-wide manhunt on Monday after RCMP named them suspects in the shooting deaths of Australian Lucas Fowler, 23, and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, whose bodies were found on the side of the Alaska Highway in northern British Columbia province on July 15.

The two suspects from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island have also been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck, a lecturer at the University of British Columbia.

Dyck's body was discovered four days after Fowler's and Deese's at a highway pullout some 470 km southwest from where the couple were killed.

McLeod and Schmegelsky were last seen on Monday in the Gillam area, according to CTV News. Enditem

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