Suspicious photos of accomplices in a British Columbia murder suspect’s escape that turned out to be archival footage have “generated favorable advice for investigators” anyway, according to the police.
A press release from the Coquitlam RCMP on Monday did not give further details.
The search for Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil began Thursday evening when he escaped from the North Fraser Pretrial Center in Coquitlam, British Columbia, in a white Econoline van with two people who police described as “posing or employed as contractors”. The van has since been found, but the three suspects are still at large.
The manhunt has triggered notifications to police departments across Canada and abroad, continuing “around the clock,” the RCMP said in the statement.
“After reviewing CCTV footage, no useful images have been identified for public release to further the investigation,” it read.
In the meantime, police are providing more details about what led to the initial release of the images – one of which was easily searchable and available to buy online for $36.
The photos are from an ID left behind by the suspects, police confirmed.
“Based on information received from other law enforcement partners, Coquitlam RCMP have determined that it is in the best interest of the investigation to promptly release the images of the two tentatively identified suspects. It This is a multi-layered investigation, and the details are developing at a rapid pace,” Const. spokesperson Deanna Law wrote.
“The suspects who helped Alkhalil escape are believed to be very similar to the identification they left behind.”
Constables confirmed to CTV News Vancouver that Alkhalil is charged with murder in the 2012 murder of Sandip Duhre. Duhre was killed in a daytime shooting at Bar One at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center hotel. Alkhalil pleaded not guilty.
He reportedly fled Canada after Duhre was killed and arrested in Greece in 2013.
Alkhalil is described as a Middle Eastern man with short, black hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs approximately 166 pounds. Police said he was last seen wearing a black jumpsuit and high visibility vest.
A description of the suspects has been released with the photos now retracted.
One is described as a white male who appears to be in his thirties. He is bald with a narrow face, arched eyebrows, and a slightly hooked nose.
The second is described as white, in his thirties and bald, with an oval face, light eyebrows and close set eyes.
Mounties are warning that all three are considered dangerous and anyone who sees them should call 911 immediately.