(CNN) — Authorities believe they have found the bodies of two Canadian men suspected of killing three people last month, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Wednesday.
The bodies were found on the bank of the Nelson River after a weekslong manhunt focused in northern Manitoba, said Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy, commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP.
That was about five miles from where their burned car was located last month, and close to where they were reportedly last seen July 22.
“I’m confident that it is them,” she said, adding that an autopsy will confirm the identities of the deceased.
MacLatchy said she could not say how they died, or how long they have been dead.
Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are suspected of killing North Carolina resident Chynna Deese, 24, and her Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, 23.
Deese and Fowler were on a road trip through Canada to Alaska, their families said. Fowler was living in British Columbia, and they were exploring the area while Deese was visiting, RCMP said.
The victims’ bodies were discovered on July 15 on a remote highway in northern British Columbia.
The body of Vancouver university professor Leonard Dyck was discovered on July 19, and authorities believe McLeod and Schmegelsky were responsible for Dyck’s death, as well.
Dyck was a lecturer in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Botany and worked as a research associate at the university’s DeWreede Lab, where his research focused on seaweeds.
“Over the last two weeks, our officers have worked tirelessly to find the suspects wanted in connection to the homicides in British Columbia,” MacLatchy told reporters. “While there were no confirmed sightings since July 22, we never gave up in our search efforts, following up on every lead, considering all options, and using every available resource.
Officials narrowed the search area after critical evidence was found on the shore of the river Friday. The remains were found Wednesday around 10 a.m. in very dense brush less than a kilometer from where the evidence was discovered.