Two Canadian teenagers wanted for murder were questioned by police and unwittingly sent on their way, authorities said.
Local officers near Split Lake, Manitoba, stopped Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, on July 22 for a routine alcohol check. The pair were allowed to leave after authorities in the dry county found they were not carrying liquor.
"We weren't aware of their statues, of them being wanted," Constable Nathan Neckoway told Global News. "Apparently, after they came to our community, that's when they sent out that wanted [status]."
Others in Split Lake reported seeing the two buying gas last week.
On Sunday night, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police tweeted the two young men were reported seen in York Landing, Manitoba, rummaging through a garbage dump. A search of the area found no leads, authorities said. The area is about 55 miles from the remote town of Gillam, where the two allegedly torched their vehicle.
The northern Manitoba region where the pair is believed to be hiding is very remote, with no roads and a large bear population, authorities said. Local Inuit residents were warned to lock their doors and stay inside.
A massive hunt for the fugitives now includes the Royal Canadian Air Force and involves dogs, drones and helicopters.
The teens are suspected of murdering Vancouver botanist Leonard Dyck, 64, and tourists Lucas Fowler, 23, of Australia, and his American girlfriend, Chynna Deese, 24.
The couple's bodies were found near their broken down van on a highway in British Columbia. Dyck's body was found on another highway in the remote region.
The suspects, lifelong best friends, drove more than 1,800 miles from British Columbia to the spot in Manitoba where they set their Toyota RAV4 on fire, authorities said.