“I know that today’s news is not what the families of the victims and the communities of northern Manitoba wanted to hear,” MacLatchy said on Wednesday, local time (Thursday morning AEDT).
“But when searching for people in vast, remote and rugged locations it is always a possibility they won’t be immediately located.”
She said police were not able to justify the enormous search effort given there had not been any confirmed sighting of the suspects since July 23, when the burnt-out vehicle they had been driving was discovered near Gillam.
“We used some of the most advanced technologies available and received assistance from some of the most highly skilled search and rescue personnel in the country,” MacLatchy said.
“However even with this extraordinary effort we have not had any confirmed sightings since the burned vehicle was located.
“Taking into account all of the work so far, it has come time to reassess our deployment of resources to the area.”
She said it was possible the suspects may be dead.
“The north part of the province is a very unforgiving place .. very challenging terrain, lots of wildlife. We are keeping all possibilities in mind as we go forward with this.”
MacLatchy said was not surprising that the suspects had been able to evade capture.
“This is a very hard place to find somebody that doesn’t want to be found,” she said.
“We have done everything we can, we have pulled out all the stops on this thing from the instant we found out about it.”
More to come
Matthew Knott a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age based in the United States.