Family, friends gather to remember Australian slain in B.C.
Family and friends of Australian murder victim Lucas Fowler, who was shot to death in northern B.C. along with his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, gathered in a church in Sydney Friday to say farewell.
Stephen Fowler, Lucas’s father, who also happens to be a New South Wales homicide inspector, delivered an emotional eulogy in which he also took time to honour Deese.
"Our dear Chynna, we can no longer hug our boy,” said Stephen Fowler. “Please hold him tight. You are in our hearts forever."
Since meeting in Europe two years ago, Lucas Fowler, 23, and Deese, 24, had travelled to several countries together in Asia, and North and South America.
"We're so happy that Lucas and Chynna found each other and had such a great time travelling together, making new friends and just milking every last drop of fun out of life,” said Stephen Fowler at the memorial service.
The couple had just set out on a road trip to explore B.C., the Yukon and Alaska, when they were shot on the side of the Alaska Highway.
A road worker discovered their bodies early in the morning on Monday, July 15.
Nearly a week after the murders, RCMP identified 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and 19-year-old Kam McLeod as suspects, and also charged the pair with second-degree murder in the death of 64-year-old UBC professor Leonard Dyck.
So far, the pair has managed to evade capture despite a nation-wide manhunt that led police to the remote northern Manitoba town of Gillam, where an SUV believed to have been used by the suspects was found burned Monday, July 22.
Police have since scaled back their search in that area and continue to appeal for the public to call in with tips about Schmegelskyand McLeod’s whereabouts.