After days of searching a vast area of rugged wilderness in northern Manitoba, the Mounties say they are scaling back the search for two teenage murder suspects. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says there have been no confirmed sightings of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, for more than a week, the BBC reports. The search has covered more than 4,500 square miles near the town of Gillam, where a burned-out vehicle used by the men was found on July 23. "I know that today's news is not what the families of the victims and the communities of northern Manitoba wanted to hear," Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said Wednesday. "But in searching for people in vast, remote, and rugged locations, it's always a possibility that they're not going to be immediately located." The Canadian military is withdrawing from the search, officials say.
"It is not over, not by any means," MacLatchy said, per the CBC. She said officers had used the latest technology and searched more than 500 abandoned buildings, but the area is "a very tough place to find somebody who doesn't want to be found." MacLatchy said officers have not ruled out the possibility that McLeod and Schmegelsky, who are suspects in three murders in British Columbia, are dead or have somehow managed to escape the region. She said officers are being withdrawn from the area, though some specialized units will remain in Gillam to continue the search. Mounties descended on another town Sunday after an unconfirmed sighting but could find no trace of the suspects. In northern Ontario, meanwhile, police are investigating reports that two men resembling the suspects drove through a construction site near the town of Kapuskasing Wednesday morning, Global News reports. (Read more Canada stories.)