Hopes of apprehending the remaining suspect in the Canadian stabbing massacre were dashed Tuesday when authorities acknowledged they had not located him.
Canadian police with guns drawn earlier Tuesday surrounded a house on an Indigenous reserve that was the site of some of the Sunday morning attacks, while an emergency alert warned that the suspect might be in the area.
Later in the day, police sent another alert saying Myles Sanderson – one of two brothers believed to have killed 10 people and wounded 18 in a series of stabbings – was not in the community.
Despite an intense manhunt, Sanderson remained at large, and a province-wide notification in Saskatchewan continues to urge the public to take “appropriate precautions.”
Sanderson’s older brother, Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead Monday in a grassy area near one of at least 13 locations where the stabbings occurred.
Authorities warned that Myles Sanderson, 30, may be wounded but should be considered dangerous.
The attacks happe about 200 miles north of the provincial capital of Regina in James Smith Cree Nation and the small, nearby town of Weldon. Authorities say Myles Sanderson was last seen in Regina, about 100 miles north of the Montana border.
James Smith Cree Nation resident Darryl Burns said his sister, Gloria Lydia Burns, 62, was a first responder killed while responding to a call.
“She went on a call to a house and she got caught up in the violence,” he said. “She was there to help. She was a hero.”
Is the community safe?
Police Chief Evan Bray said authorities had no information indicating that Myles Sanderson had left the area. Schools reopened for the new school year in Regina, but Bray said he believed children were safe.
“There were very violent incidents that happened,” Bray said. “However, since then no violence has occurred. And no youth or children were targeted in those violent attacks.”
Still, he warned that Sanderson should be considered armed and dangerous, urging residents to come forward with “that little piece of information that you know. (It) might be more important than you think.”
Who is Myles Sanderson?
Rhonda Blackmore, assistant commissioner in charge of the Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said Myles Sanderson has a history of violent crime, including dozens of convictions for assault, assault with a weapon, uttering threats, assaulting a police officer and robbery. He has been sought since May, when he skipped a parole meeting and Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers listed him as “unlawfully at large.”
Sanderson faces three first-degree murder counts, one attempted murder count and related offenses. More charges are expected to be filed, authorities said.
Blackmore said the public should know Sanderson may seek medical attention, and to be wary of him.
SUSPECT FOUND DEAD:Brother still on the run
What was the motive for the killings?
Blackmore said police were still determining the motive, but the chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said the stabbings could be drug-related.
“This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities, and we demand all authorities to take direction from the chiefs and councils and their membership to create safer and healthier communities for our people,” Chief Bobby Cameron said.
Stabbing suspect Damien Sanderson found dead in grassy area
More than 24 hours after the manhunt for the brothers began, the body of Damien Sanderson was found Sunday in the periphery of the attack sites. Blackmore said the circumstances leading to Sanderson’s death were not clear, but that he had “visible injuries” that “are not believed to be self-inflicted.”
Blackmore said police are investigating whether Myles Sanderson was involved in his brother’s death, but “we can’t say that definitively.”
Manhunt covers three massive provinces
A search was underway across Saskatchewan, Manitoba to the east and Alberta to the west. Each province is almost the size of Texas. At least one of the suspects had been seen Sunday in Regina driving a black Nissan Rogue. Police say they don’t know if that car has been abandoned in favor of another.
Bray say he believes Sanderson could be hiding in Regina and urged any community members who may know something about his whereabouts to contact authorities.
Contributing: The Associated Press