A pair of 14-year-old boys charged in the Edmonton slayings of two people found Monday morning were wards of the province who escaped from an isolated rural group home, police said yesterday.

Strathcona County RCMP Cpl. Darren Anderson said that while officers are often forced to search for AWOL youth from Bosco Homes’ 120-acre property, the situation is “extreme” and “isolated.”

Police have identified the victims as 68-year-old Barry Boenke and 50-year-old Susan Trudel. The cause of death has not yet been released. Anderson said police are confident the victims were not directly targeted.

“It’s completely random,” he said yesterday.

In the days before their current incarcerations, the boys were arrested for and charged for vandalizing the New Horizons School in Ardrossan. They were released to staff at Bosco, and placed under a 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. curfew.

The boys vanished the next day while playing outside. Gus Rozycki, Bosco Homes’ executive director, said a staffer was present at the time of their disappearance, and police were called within 20 minutes.

The staff-to-child ratio at the ranch-like property is one to three, he added.

Children’s Services Minister Janis Tarchuk said proper protocol was followed after the boys disappeared.

“There was no indication that either of these youth were at risk to themselves or others,” she said.

Bosco’s property is nine kilometres away from the location the bodies were discovered.

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