Grieving families of couple killed in northern B.C. speak out
Published Saturday, July 20, 2019 5:29PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, July 22, 2019 7:35AM PDT
The grieving family of an Australian man found dead in northern B.C., along with his American girlfriend, arrived in Vancouver Saturday.
"He's a loss to so many people," said Stephen Fowler, father of the slain man. "And his girlfriend also. It’s just devastating and our heart goes out to the whole of her family. You know, we’re just crushed."
Somebody killed 24-year-old Lucas Fowler and 23-year-old Chynna Deese on a remote stretch of the Alaska Highway, about 20 km south of Liard Hot Springs.
Witnesses who spoke with the couple Sunday said their camper van had broken down but they declined help.
The couple told people they thought the engine had flooded and they’d be able to wait a while and then start the van and carry on.
Monday morning they were found dead.
“It still doesn’t seem real,” said Chynna’s mother Sheila Deese. “Chynna travelled so much for the last year and a half. But she always came home so I’m still hoping.”
According to the Deese family, the couple met while travelling in Europe and forged a love story over the last two years.
They had already toured much of North America, as well as Colombia and Peru.
“It’s like Chynna being a wild butterfly in the wind, always travelling and wanting to see new places and she had finally met somebody that wants to do the exact same thing,” said Chynna’s brother, British Deese.
As the investigation unfolds, electronic signs on the Alaska Highway urge drivers to share dash cam video with the RCMP.
Late Friday, a pair of Australian homicide investigators touched down in Vancouver.
“We’ll just be providing assistance to the police here and to the families here,” said Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Walpole, of the New South Wales Police homicide squad as he left the airport.
For those grieving families, answers can’t come soon enough.
“I don’t know who would do something like this … or what,” said British Deese. “As far as I know he’s still on the loose.”
RCMP remain tight-lipped about the investigation but say nothing indicates the homicides are linked to other crimes. They don’t believe there are heightened risks to public safety.