The father of one of the two Canadian serial-murder suspects, said on Sunday he won’t believe his son is a killer without proof — and gave him “kudos” for evading the authorities.
Alan Schmegelsky said he was overjoyed when his son Bryer, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, blew through a police checkpoint in Manitoba last month.
“These boys are smart, they’re intelligent.. kudos boys, kudos,” he told Australia’s 60 Minutes, in an episode aired on Sunday night.
The show interviewed the father during the weeks-long manhunt for the teenagers — and also after they were believed to have been found dead last week.
Schmegelsky said the loss of his son is “heartbreaking” despite the crimes that the teen was accused of committing.
“You may think he’s a monster but he’s my son, he’s my Bryer,” he said. “I’m not going to see my son as a murderer until I get some facts. You want me to sit here and tell me my son positively murdered your co-citizen? Because I won’t, because I can’t.”
The former fugitives were initially feared missing before they were named suspects in the deaths of North Carolina woman Chynna Deese, 24, and her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, 23, of Sydney, Australia, who were found fatally shot July 15 by the side of a remote highway.
The teens were also charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, 64, a University of British Columbia professor whose body was found July 19, over 200 miles away from the couple.
Schmegelsky said he is “still in shock” about the ordeal.
“There’s a lot of things that happened … and none of it did I volunteer for and none of it do I wish on any other parent.”
Asked about his son’s childhood, Schmegelsky said “he was raised by YouTube and video games.”
“He had a lot of time with very little attention given to him and I know that,” Schmegelsky said, admitting: “He could have had a better upbringing.”
Canadian authorities hunted Bryer and his accomplice for nearly three weeks, before they discovered their bodies in dense brush in the shoreline of the Nelson River in Manitoba, about five miles from where their burnt-out truck was discovered July 22.
“His troubles are over,” Schmegelsky said. “I’m so sad that he felt he had to take this road trip.”
But, he added, “We’ll never know the answer.”
“Everyone’s so quick to judge … he might be a victim in all of this for all we know.”
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