the Nelson River
Recovery efforts at the Nelson River. Image Credit: Social media

Montreal: Police divers in Canada have wound up their search of a river in northern Manitoba for any trace of two teenage fugitives wanted for the killings of three people, officials said Monday.

The divers had been searching the Nelson River after a battered aluminum boat was found Friday on its shore, in the vast area near Gillam being scoured for the fugitives, but no evidence of them was found.

"The Underwater Recovery Team has completed their work following the discovery of a boat on the shore of the Nelson River," the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement on Twitter.

"They will not be conducting any additional dives. A police roadblock has been put in place today in the Sundance, MB, area for ongoing search efforts," it added.

The discovery of the empty boat had come days after police said they were scaling back the search for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, which at its peak involved tracker dogs, a drone and search planes equipped with infrared cameras.

The teens are wanted in connection with the murder of Lucas Fowler, 23, of Australia, and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, who were found shot dead alongside the Alaska Highway in northern British Columbia on July 15.

The teens have also been charged with the murder of Leonard Dyck, 64, a Canadian biology professor, whose body police found later also in northern British Columbia.

Police had not ruled out that the two fugitives may have died in the inhospitable region of swamps and dense forests, home to swarms of biting insects and bears.

But the pair may have dodged the huge manhunt and escaped the area.