Canadian police returned to the James Smith Cree Nation on Tuesday after probable sightings of the man wanted in connection with a stabbing spree that resulted in the deaths of ten people. Still, the culprit remained large on the third day of an intense search.
CBC News reported a substantial police presence on the indigenous reserve in Saskatchewan, some 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of the provincial capital of Regina, where Sunday's massacre shocked a society mostly unaccustomed to mass killings.
Several hours later, however, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) reported that their "investigation has determined" that the 30-year-old suspect, Myles Sanderson, "is not located in the community" of the reserve, and officials continued their hunt for him.
Sanderson remained at large and potentially injured, according to police, after his alleged accomplice and older brother, Damien Sanderson, 31, was discovered dead in a grassy area of the James Smith Cree Nation on Monday.
The couple is suspected of killing ten people and wounded 18 others in a stabbing rampage in the James Smith Cree reserve and surrounding settlement of Weldon, upsetting an indigenous community of 3,400 people in one of the bloodiest massacres in contemporary Canada.
As of Tuesday afternoon, ten surviving victims remained hospitalized, seven in stable condition and three in critical, according to health officials.
Evan Bray, the police chief of Regina, stated late Monday that the search for Sanderson was centered in that city. Still, in a recorded tweet uploaded Tuesday, he noted that the investigation had "expanded into the province."
RCMP in Saskatchewan issued an emergency warning stating that officers responded to reports of a "possible sighting" of the suspect on the James Smith Cree reserve. Earlier on Tuesday, the direction appeared to have shifted back to the location of the crime scene.
Three hours later, the alert was revised to state that Sanderson had not been seen in the area, that his location was unknown, and that the public should "take appropriate precautions."
Authorities did not explain the attacks. Some victims appeared to be deliberate targets, while others seemed random.
Some First Nation chiefs have attributed the murders to drug use, but police have not listed drugs or alcohol as contributing reasons.
The stabbings caused "immeasurable stress and panic" in the community, chiefs from 74 Saskatchewan First Nations said in a statement released Monday, imploring the public to come forward with pertinent information.
Ivor Wayne Burns, a member of the James Smith Cree, stated that the Sanderson brothers were members of First Nations communities and under the influence of narcotics at the time of the crimes.
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore stated that Myles Sanderson was deemed armed and dangerous.
CBC News stated that Sanderson had been considered a fugitive since May when he ceased meeting with his parole officer following his release from jail for assault, robbery, and other offenses.
The CBC, citing papers from the Canadian Parole Board, revealed Sanderson had 59 convictions over two decades.
The Canadian Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, informed reporters Tuesday evening that the parole board "will be investigating the decision" to free Sanderson.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at a press briefing on Tuesday, in response to rumors that Sanderson had been unlawfully at large for several months, "we are very much still in crisis mode."
"Over the past two days, we've been focused on doing everything we can to keep people safe," he continued.
The police stated that they were examining if Sanderson may have also murdered his sibling and incurred injuries that may require medical attention.
There were little data available about the victims, who included men and women of a wide range of ages. According to locals, the victims included a mother of two, a 77-year-old widower, and a first responder.