The discovery of a damaged boat near the Manitoba town where two murder suspects were last seen has prompted an RCMP dive team to search a river.

RCMP said Sunday that the aluminum boat had been spotted Friday on the shore of the Nelson River by a search crew using a helicopter.

An underwater recovery team arrived in Gillam, Man. on Saturday and was deployed to check out "significant areas of interest" on Sunday, the RCMP said.

Gillam is the last location confirmed to have been visited by Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, who are sought by police in connection with three homicides in northern B.C.

Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese were found dead July 15 on the Alaska Highway. The body of Leonard Dyck was discovered four days later near a burned-out vehicle.

There was a confirmed sighting of the 19-year-old McLeod and 18-year-old Schmegelsky on July 21 in Meadow Lake, Sask. The vehicle they were using was found near Gillam on July 22, having been destroyed by fire.

Police have received a number of tips about the locations of Schmegelsky and McLeod since then, although they have not been able to verify any of them.

A large-scale RCMP search of the Gillam area began to be pared back about a week ago. The small, remote nature of Gillam – it has 1,200 residents and only one road connecting it with the rest of the province – has led to speculation that the suspects may have attempted to escape the area on foot or via boat rather than remain in a setting where they would eventually be identified.

On Friday afternoon, #rcmpmb officers searching from a helicopter, located a damaged aluminum boat on the shore of the Nelson River. RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) will conduct a thorough underwater search of significant areas of interest today. pic.twitter.com/NwewjD9qH1

— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) August 4, 2019

This is the damaged aluminum boat found by #rcmpmb officers on the shores of the Nelson River during a helicopter search on friday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/56Ez8alVTs

— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) August 4, 2019