Coquitlam RCMP is still actively searching for Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil, who escaped from the North Fraser Pre-trial Center on Thursday — but the photos they shared of his alleged accomplices were stock photos, they said.
“It is believed that the suspects who helped Alkhalil escape closely resemble the photos they left behind, but those images are not,” Const said. Deanna Law with Coquitlam RCMP in a statement Saturday afternoon.
CBC contacted Coquitlam RCMP on Saturday morning after receiving a tip that the photos appeared to be stock photos.
Police later released a statement confirming that the images are stock and “do not represent the suspects themselves”.
The footage was released on Friday when police said they had tentatively identified the two suspected accomplices and asked the public for help in tracking down Alkhalil.
The 35-year-old, who is charged with murder for gang-related murders in BC in 2012, escaped the correction center about a half-hour drive east of Vancouver on Thursday night.
The two unknown suspects of the escape are both described as bald white men who appear to be in their thirties. One has a narrow face, arched eyebrows and a slightly crooked nose, while the second has an oval face, light eyebrows and close-set eyes.
“As with many complex investigations, the information changes rapidly as we progress,” Law said in the statement.
“For this case, time is of the essence and it is important to keep the public as informed as possible, even though the facts may change along the way.”
Police confirmed on Saturday that they found the white Econoline van in which Alkhalil left with the two men. The van is being forensically examined, they said.
CBC has contacted RCMP regarding the use of the stock photos.