BC RCMP said Monday afternoon that “it’s possible” the double homicide of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese could be linked to the investigation into the man whose body was found near the vehicle of the two missing teens from Port Alberni.
RCMP are providing an update on two separate investigations in Northern B.C., one involving a young couple killed along a remote highway and the other involving two missing men and their abandoned, burnt-out camper truck.
Posted by CBC Vancouver on Monday, July 22, 2019
During an update on Monday, police released a sketch of the man who was found dead on July 19, 2019, after officers responded to a vehicle fire south of the Stikine River Bridge on Highway 37 in northern B.C.
Police say 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, from Port Alberni, were driving the vehicle found burned out and that the body discovered wasn’t that of either missing teen.
But the deceased man has not been identified. He is described as a white man, 5’8″ to 5’10,” with a heavy build, 50 to 60-years-old with a grey beard and grey hair.
“It is unclear at this time how or if the deceased male is connected with the vehicle fire or the two missing young men,” Cpl. Chris Manseau, media relations officer with BC RCMP, said Monday.
The vehicle, a red and grey Dodge pickup truck with a sleeping camper was found burned out about two kilometres from the man’s body.
According to police, the two were travelling through B.C. to Whitehorse to look for work. Their case is being treated as a missing persons investigation.
“It’s not clear why they returned to B.C. and what their travel plans may have been,” Manseau said.
Manseau said the two have periodically connected with family and friends over the past week and could be in an area without cell coverage.
Kam McLeod is described as:
- Approximately 169 pounds
- Dark brown hair and facial hair
- Brown eyes
Bryer Schmegelsky is described as:
- Approximately 169 pounds
- Sandy brown hair
The two were last seen travelling south from Super A general store in Dease Lake at around 3:15 p.m. on July 18, 2019.
Anyone with any information about McLeod, Schmegelsky or the unidentified deceased man is asked to please call the BC RCMP Tips Line at 1-877-543-4822, Major Crime Line at 778-290-5291 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-847.
Four days before the vehicle fire, the bodies of 23-year-old Australian Lucas Fowler and his 24-year-old girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, N.C., were found on the side of the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs., about 470 kilometres away from the location of where the Port Alberni teens went missing.
RCMP confirmed Monday that the couple’s deaths were a result of “gun violence.” The two were exploring northern B.C. in Fowler’s blue van.
Police have asked anyone who may have seen the couple to contact them. A sketch of a man police would like to speak to in relation to the homicide investigation was also released on Monday. RCMP media relations officer Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said the man was seen speaking to Fowler on the evening of July 14. He described as a white man with darker skin and dark hair. He is shorter than Fowler, who was 6’3″ and has a possible beard or glasses. The man may be associated with an older model Jeep Cherokee with a black stripe on the hood and a black light/bull bar with small, covered lights. He was believed to have been travelling south. He is not considered a suspect.
BC RCMP have released two surveillance videos of Deese and Fowler at a gas station in Fort Nelson on July 13, 2019. It shows the couple arriving at the gas station at around 7:30 p.m. and leaving around 7:47 p.m.
Lucas Fowler’s father, Chief Insp. Stephen Fowler of the New South Wales Police Force says he spoke with his globe-trotting son Lucas Fowler before he and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese left on a road trip from northern B.C.
Fowler says nothing in his job as a police officer had prepared him for the devastating news he received about his son’s shooting death
Manseau said “it’s possible” the double homicide investigation is linked to the Port Alberni missing persons investigation.
“It’s possible,” Manseau said.
“We have two complex and dynamic investigations that are happening in northern B.C. and we have major crime working on both files at this time.”
The public is asked to be vigilant and take safety precautions while travelling in northern B.C.
With files from The Canadian Press