Chynna Deese was found dead along with her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler in Canada in July 2019. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement that the couple’s deaths are being treated as “suspicious.” Deese, 24, is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Fowler’s family released a statement saying of their son and his girlfriend, “To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was traveling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating. o know his beautiful girlfriend, Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina also lost her life in this violent event is too cruel. All our love and best wishes go to Chynna’s family and friends.”
Officials said that the couple is thought to have died between July 14 and July 15. The bodies were discovered on July 15 at 7:20 p.m. local time. The pair were found along the Alaska Highway, Highway 97, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. They were found less than 50 miles from the Liard River Hot Springs, a notable tourist attraction.
Anybody with any information regarding the deaths of Deese and Fowler is asked to call the Fort Nelson RCMP at 250-774-2700, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. An Australian Newspaper Has Speculated that Deese & Fowler Were the Victims of a ‘Serial Killer’
The Australian Daily Telegraph reports that there is a theory that Deese and Fowler were the victims of a serial killer. That theory is based in part on the number of women who have vanished along the stretch of highway where the pair were found dead. The road is close to the area known as the “Highway of Tears” whereas many of 50 women have vanished since 1970.
Most recently, Chantelle Simpson, 34, disappeared in the area with her car being found along the highway. Two weeks later, her body was found in the Skeena River. While in September 2018, Jessica Patrick, 18, was found dead in the area having last been seen in a McDonald’s along the highway.
The Canadian police said that the old blue minivan with Alberta plates was located at the scene of the killings and that police are looking for anyone who saw the vehicle or interacted with the owner. In particular, anyone who would have seen them between Sunday July 14 2019 at 4:00 PM and Monday July 15 2019 at 8:00 AM and especially if they were traveling with a dashcam. A woman named Sandra Broughton wrote on Facebook, “This makes my heart so sad. We seen the blue van broke down on our journey home on Sunday and we stopped and asked if they needed help. I can’t believe that this young couple are dead now.”
The Telegraph reports adds that two detectives from the Australian State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad have traveled to Canada to aid in the investigation.
Deese’s brother, British, told the Charlotte Observer that the family does not believe the serial killer scenario saying, “I don’t think it’s a serial killer. I think of someone who has been convicted of violent crimes before, someone on drugs. That fits the profile better. What worries us is that person is still on the loose and they have a head start. This is going to happen again. There needs to be some kind of a warning system in place for tourists.”
2. Deese’s Sister Called Chynna & Fowler ‘Bright & Beautiful Souls’
In a Facebook post on July 18, Deese’s sister, Kennedy, confirmed the sad news. Kennedy said of the tragedy, “It is with overwhelming sadness that I share my sister Chynna and her beloved boyfriend Lucas were recently found deceased, homicide victims along a remote stretch of highway in Canada while on a road trip. They were bright and beautiful souls. We are still in shock and heartbroken.”
While Deese’s brother wrote in tribute to his sister saying she was “so deeply woven as a piece of my childhood and everyday life. I am forever indebted to her for being such an amazing life companion and giving me SO many reasons to smile. Life throws curveballs and you made every one easier to handle. This is a curveball I did not expect.
Losing you is going to hurt so much.”
3. Deese Was a Student at Appalachian State University
Deese was a 2017 graduate of Appalachian State University. Deese’s sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha at Appalachian State University wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook post, “It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of our sister, Chynna Deese, who recently passed. She was such a kind and adventurous soul and we have been honored to call her our sister.” Deese studied psychology and business at the school.”
The Charlotte Observer reports that Deese was a graduate of Myers Park High School as part of the school’s class of 2013. In a Facebook post, her brother said that Deese had gone to Canada recently to “visit her boyfriend Lucas for the ‘branding of the cows’ at a ranch he worked at in Canada and to travel through the top half of the globe.”
4. Deese Had Recently Traveled to Jordan & Turkey
Facebook posts from Deese and Fowler on their respective pages shows that the couple had traveled to Turkey and Jordan earlier in 2019. In December 2018, Deese posted a photo showing her lying on a beach in Mulege, Mexico. The photo had a caption reading, “Happy place.” Deese’s brother said that Fowler had recently moved to Canada to take a job on a ranch and that he had stayed with the family in Charlotte for a period.
The couple had been together since 2017, reports the Charlotte Observer. That article refers to the couple being on an extended road trip into Canada when they were killed. The couple met in a hostel in Croatia and were both well-traveled.
5. Lucas Fowler Is the Son of a High-Ranking Australian Cop
The New South Wales police have confirmed that Lucas Fowler is the son of NSW Police Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler. The force said that they are “providing support” to Fowler’s family. Members of Fowler’s family have traveled to Canada to bring his body home to Australia, his father said.
According to Fowler’s Facebook page, he is native of Hornsby in Sydney and attended Kur-ing-gai High School.