Shortly after Manitoba RCMP announced the discovery of two bodies believed to be a pair of Port Alberni, B.C. murder suspects, a notice was found posted on the front door of the home owned by Bryer Schmegelsky’s grandmother.
“To all media reporters and camera people: we request that you respect our privacy at this time, by keeping off our property and not ringing the door bell or banging on our door,” it reads.
“You have become a nuisance to us and our neighbours. We will not be making any statement.”
No other words have been heard from any other relatives of Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, the two men who were wanted across Canada in connection with three murders in northern B.C. nearly a month ago.
On Wednesday, RCMP said they were “confident” the remains found that morning in the Gillam area were those of the two young men. An autopsy will be performed Thursday to determine their identities and the cause of death.
Schmegelsky and McLeod were charged with second-degree murder for the death of 64-year-old Vancouver man Leonard Dyck.
WATCH: RCMP say determining motive will be ‘extremely difficult’ after bodies found
The pair were also suspects in the shooting deaths of 23-year-old Sydney, Australia native Lucas Fowler and 24-year-old Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina.
News that Schmegelsky and McLeod were suspects in all three deaths thrust the small Vancouver Island city into the national spotlight.
Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions said the community was “incredibly saddened” by the news that the young men may have been found dead.
“It’s not the outcome we hoped for,” she said. “There’s just been so much tragedy here.
“I think we all really hoped we would get answers, and the answers we’ll get will be much more limited now.”
Minions said she’s seen several local efforts to support the families of Schmegelsky and McLeod, but the city itself has been careful to respect their privacy.
“The people who live here are really proud to live here. We really love Port Alberni,” she said. “There’s a lot of good happening here, so it’s been challenging having this be what we’re being recognized for when we’re working so hard to progress our community and change the image of our community.”
The mayor said she planned to reach out to the families Wednesday to offer her condolences and support.
Minions also shared a written statement pointing residents to local mental health resources.
B.C. RCMP said they will continue to provide support to the families of Schmegelsky and McLeod, as well as those of Fowler, Deese and Dyck.
Reactions from victims’ families
The families of Schmegelsky and McLeod’s alleged victims have been similarly tight-lipped on the news from Manitoba.
When asked for a reaction to the discovery of the bodies, Chynna Deese’s mother Sheila offered only one word: “Speechless.”
Deese’s sister Kennedy also posted a reaction to the news, sharing a graphic that starts with “Dear Jesus,” followed by a pile of letters before finishing with “Amen.”
Global News has reached out to relatives of Lucas Fowler, but have yet to hear a response.
Leonard Dyck’s sister Doris Fleck shared a picture of the pair, along with a brief statement that said she was “sobbing” when she heard the news of the bodies in Manitoba.
“It is a relief, and at the same time, it has been such a needless loss of life” she wrote. “We cannot change what happened but we can remember Len for his dry sense of humor, his generosity and love.”
—With files from Rumina Daya and Kylie Stanton
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