By Lilly Milman
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are investigating the deaths of an American woman and an Australian man, whose bodies were found by Northern Rockies police early morning July 15 about 12 miles south of Liard Hot Springs on Highway 97 in British Columbia. The RCMP has ruled the deaths a double homicide, according to a statement from the department.
The victims were identified as Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, and Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23. Law enforcement found the couple’s vehicle at the scene — a blue 1986 Chevrolet van with Alberta license plates.
Deese, who lived in North Carolina, was visiting her boyfriend Fowler, who lived in British Columbia. The couple were traveling to national parks in Canada and planned on ending their trip in Alaska, Deese’s mother told the Charlotte-based news network WSOC-TV. The trip was supposed to last two weeks, she said.
The Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park is a popular tourist destination, open year-round, at Mile 475 on the highway.
It is unclear whether the victims were targeted, RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said in the prepared the statement.
Investigators are seeking anyone who was in the area around the hot springs, including camping areas, or traveling on the highway between 4 p.m. July 14 and 8 a.m. July 15. On July 23, police identified Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, as potential suspects in a press conference. RCMP released a public alert to consider the two men dangerous and to call 9-1-1 immediately if they are spotted. They were seen driving a gray 2011 Toyota RAV4 in northern Saskatchewan.
Anyone with information on either victim or suspect is asked to contact the Northern Rockies RCMP at 250-774-2700.