Canadian police are investigating after an American woman and her Australian boyfriend were found dead alongside a British Columbia highway this week.
Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, and Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23, were on a road trip in Canada, when police believe they were murdered. Their bodies were found Monday morning near Liard Hot Spring, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
Deese is a native of North Carolina, The Charlotte Observer reports.
Police believe the two were traveling in a 1986 Chevrolet van that was found near their bodies on Alaska Highway 97.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Chief Janelle Shoihet said in a press conference Friday that the deaths are being investigated as homicides.
Police said they are still looking for any clues that could lead them to a suspect.
Deese’s father, Dwayne Deese, told the Observer that the family had not received much information about the crimes, but he believed the attack to be violent because it took police three days to identify the bodies. He said this also led him to believe all forms of identification were taken, the newspaper reported.
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“This investigation is in it’s very infancy and it is not yet clear whether Lucas and Chynna were targeted or is this was a crime of opportunity,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a press release. “At this point, we have nothing to indicate that their deaths are linked to any other active and ongoing investigations in the area, or if there is a heightened risk to public safety.”
Deese met Fowler in 2017 at a hostel in Croatia, the Observer.
Fowler was native to New South Wales, Australia. According to police, his family will travel to Canada. Although his father is an active member of the New South Wales Police Force and is traveling with other officers, they will not be involved in the investigation, police said.
In a statement on the New South Wales Police website, Fowler’s family said, “We have lost our dear Lucas Fowler, son, brother, grandson and friend in the most terrible of circumstances. To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was traveling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating.”
Canadian police worked with the FBI and Australian authorities in notifying the victims’ families.
Police said the investigation is ongoing, and are looking to talk to anyone who was near Liard Hot Springs on July 14 or 15 to contact them, especially if they have dashboard footage.
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