North America

Dive teams search for Canadian teens suspected of killing Lucas Fowler

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The manhunt in Canada for the suspected killers of Australian Lucas Fowler and his girlfriend is going underwater with dive teams preparing to search a river.

The dead or alive search in Canada for the suspected teenage killers of Australian tourist Lucas Fowler and his US girlfriend Chynna Deese is going underwater.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced on Saturday it is sending dive recovery teams to search the Nelson River near Gillam, the small Manitoba town where Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, dumped their stolen Toyota RAV4 on July 23 and disappeared.

Despite unconfirmed sightings of the duo as far away as the neighbouring province of Ontario, the RCMP continues to search around Gillam.

Survival experts predict the teenagers would struggle to stay alive if they attempted to hide in the swampy, bug-infested wilderness around Gillam without shelter and equipment.

The dive team is the latest attempt by the RCMP to bring closure to a manhunt that began more than 3000 kilometres away on July 14 in Canada's western province of British Columbia.

Lucas Fowler and girlfriend Chynna Deese
Lucas Fowler and girlfriend Chynna Deese
NSW Police

The bodies of Mr Fowler, 23, from Sydney, and his North Carolina girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, were found in a ditch on the side of a BC highway. They had been shot.

Four days later on another BC highway the teenagers allegedly murdered botanist Leonard Dyck and then drove east across Canada's north to Gillam.

Royal Canadian Air Force planes with infrared and other search technology failed to find the fugitives around Gillam.

"To assist in the ongoing search for the 2 BC suspects, Manitoba RCMP's Underwater Recovery Team (URT) will be arriving in Gillam tonight & divers will begin to search a section of the Nelson River tomorrow, Sunday, August 4," RCMP wrote in a tweet.

Canada has been gripped by the nationwide manhunt.

The Ontario Provincial Police announced on Friday it had set up an investigative team to follow up on potential sightings of Schmegelsky and McLeod in their province.

The OPP received more than 30 tips in less than eight hours on Thursday.

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