UPDATE: OPP investigating 30 tips in 8 hours related to Canada manhunt suspects
Spikes in tips related to the B.C. murder suspects have flooded the Ontario Provincial Police, suggesting—but not yet confirming—that the two young men may have migrated from Manitoba to Ontario, reports the CBC.
“Police said Friday the reports have come in from across the province, and investigators cannot confirm at this time whether any of the sightings are, in fact, of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and 19-year-old Kam McLeod,” writes The Canadian Press’s Paola Loriggio.
However, many tips over the past weeks have gone unconfirmed and police are worried that intentionally spreading misinformation on social media may be a factor.
“We are aware of misinformation related to the murder suspects via social media and ask the public to refrain from spreading rumours,” say Greater Sudbury Police.
“Any confirmed sightings will be shared through GSPS social media sites. We urge the community to rely on the GSPS social media/website as their trusted source of info. Should any sighting be confirmed, we will issue a community notification immediately.”
Due to the sudden influx of new tips, the OPP has assembled an investigative team with the hopes some may lead to more substantial evidence and the long-awaited arrest of Schmegelsky and McLeod.
According to Staff Sgt. Carolle Dionne, more than 30 tips were sent to the OPP in an 8-hour period last Thursday.
“The more information [there is], it makes it easier for us to follow up on … We can’t dismiss it either if it’s vague or doesn’t have enough content but it may take us longer to filter through and try to figure out was there any merit into this tip,” says Dionne.
“We really don’t want to discourage people from continuing to report because it could be that one tip that might be legitimate, that might be a true sighting.”
She went on to say that the ongoing investigation and public nature of the case has riled up the public who may be worried that “they could show up in my backyard,” and caused them to be significantly more vigilant.
The two suspects have been on the road for a prolonged period. It’s likely they’re very desperate and possibly armed. The two have been charged with the murder of Leonard Dyck and are the primary suspects in the double homicide that ended the lives of Australian Lucas Fowler and American Chynna Deese.
Police are still asking for any tips which may lead to their arrests.
As the anti-pipeline protests continue to shut down crucial parts of Canada’s infrastructure, the CostalGas Link pipeline and there is much confusion when it comes to the Wet’suwet’en people’s stance on it.
The Premier of BC John Horgan told the CBC that it’s a fight within the nation between the equal actors of hereditary chiefs, who defend the land, and the band chiefs, who want to see their people become financially secure.
A recent Facebook post that has been shared almost 5,000 times in its first day talks about the personal relationship that Terri Tilijoe has had with the Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwe’ten people.
Terri is caucasian although she is a member of the Westbank First Nation and has been since she was 16, through her marriage with Larry Tilijoe, who is Unistoten. She believes that the vast majority of Wet’suwet’en people are in favour of the pipeline, estimating it’s about 85 percent.
The post began with Tiljoe stating, “I see all these posts supporting a few OW Hereditary Chiefs but what I don’t see is the Wetsuweten people speaking up about how this office operates. I get it though, I live on Westbank First Nation, I see exactly how opportunities are disbursed based on whether you are ‘one of them’ or ‘one of us’.”
Tiljoe described her experience with the OW Chiefs and how “In 1993, we started a silviculture business, Nadina Mountain Contracting, located within the Morice Forest District. Our goal was to become a sustainable First Nation contractor who harvested, replanted and rejuvenated the areas we harvested.”
“The OW, situated an hour east of Houston, took over ALL the forest related activities earmarked as First Nations. We were forced to work under the OW for contracts within our own forests; the OW took a portion of the contract value for the ‘service’. The OW’s lack of knowledge in forest health and neglect in their financial responsibilities continually caused our business to suffer hardship which rippled to our banker, our employees, and our suppliers.”
“I personally question the integrity of some of the chiefs, and I wonder if it’s the same case with CGL; that the OW wants to control ALL the negotiations, ALL the monies, ALL the contracts and ALL benefits and administer it back to the Bands in the territory? As it stands the individual bands will receive the monies and benefits and not the OW. If the OW can’t have it ALL then NO one will have anything.”
The protests continue while the Trudeau government continues to dither twelve days in, while various road and rail blockades cripples the transport of goods and people.
Jesse Winter, a photojournalist who has worked with Vice, The Guardian, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, was blocked from trying to cover anti-pipeline protestors in Coquitlam, BC.
“Sgt Waters with the CN police just threatened to arrest me for attempting to cover the #wetsuweten supporters rail blockade in Port Coquitlam,” Winter tweeted.
“If you are a protestor, then you are protesting, right? But if you’re just the media, that’s different. You’re not allowed on private property,” the officer said.
In a follow-up tweet, Winter said, “Specifically Waters said multiple times that if I was a protester I could stay, but that if I was independent from them I was being asked to leave. If I did not, I would be subject to arrest because it is private property. #freepress.”
Winter stood his ground, and the officer did not forcibly remove him from the scene.
The protests and blockades across Canada are a response to the raid of an anti-pipeline camp in Northern British Columbia that was opposed to the building of a pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory.
The Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council supports the pipeline project.
The internet has dubbed him “Speedo-man” after a video posted shows a man skiing down residential streets being pulled by a pick-up truck. Zak Mousseau is the fashionable athlete who claims he was “just bored” that day.
Fernie, a ski-town in the mountainous East Kootenays had a power outage on Feb. 1 and it was Mousseai and his friends who decided to make the most of a rainy day according to Vernon Info News.
The video shows Mousseau donning only a speedo and a pair of skis, gliding through the slushy streets.
“The streets were filled with water and I just wanted to go for a rip,” he said. “I was just thinking to myself ‘what would Vin Diesel do?’ So I just channelled my inner Vin Diesel and obviously the Speedo was the (right) move.”
Mousseau used his friend’s vehicle to propel him down the town streets which were flooded due to recent high temperatures. Neighbours seemed to enjoy his antics and one of them filmed the scene.
“It was mostly my idea,” Mousseau said. “It was only one stretch of maybe like a block that you could pond skim and we lapped it. We probably did like six laps,” he said. “The whole street was outside because they were all on the same program. The power was out and they (weren’t doing anything).”
Mousseau was surprised to learn that the video went viral having been shared almost 9,000 times on Facebook and picked up by multiple news outlets.
“That’s my stunt Speedo,” Mousseau said, adding he’d be happy to do it again. He seems to be enjoying his newfound viral fame, changing his Instagram handle to “man_in_speedo”.
Criminals are using the latest technology to innovate their unlawful ways. A bag of crystal meth was discovered inside the prison walls of Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Jan. 9 around 11 am.
The bag of narcotics was attached to a carbon-fibre sporting arrow which was used to launch the package over prison walls according to the Campbell River Mirror.
The package contained nine grams of drugs with a total institutional value (what it’s worth inside the prison) of $7,200 according to Correctional Service Canada. The B.C. prison has since tightened up their security and an investigation is underway with local police.
There has been a recent spike in criminal innovation when it comes to smuggling things into prisons, mostly due to the use of drones. In the Fraser Valley region alone last year, more than $86,000 in contraband was seized from Agassiz’s Kent Institution. One such item seized was a drone used for such activity.