Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia (left) and Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. (right) in a photo released by the Fowler family on Friday, July 19. 2019. They were found dead near Liard Hot Springs on July 15, 2019 in what police believe was a double homicide. (New South Wales Police Force/Facebook)

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RCMP are investigating the double homicide of a couple found dead along Highway 97 in northern B.C.

Police identified the victims as Chynna Noelle Deese of the North Carolina and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia in a statement Friday.

The pair were found dead roughly 20 kilometres south of Liard Hot Springs just after 7 a.m. on Monday near the highway, also called the Alaska Highway. An older model of a blue minivan with Alberta plates was found at the scene.

Both deaths are being treated as suspicious and investigators believe Deese and Fowler were killed between Sunday and when they were found. They did not detail how the couple died.

The hot springs is about 150 kilometres from the Yukon-B.C. border.

BC RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said in a news conference at BC RCMP headquarters in Surrey, B.C. Friday afternoon that Fowler was living in B.C., and it’s believed that Deese was visiting him.

It remains unclear if the killings were targeted or were a crime of opportunity, Shoihet said.

Investigators are now looking to determine if the minivan found nearby belonged to the couple or not and are urging witnesses who may have seen Deese or Robertson between Sunday at 4 p.m. and Monday morning to contact RCMP immediately.

Family remembers

The family of Fowler is travelling from Australia to B.C. to “be with our boy and to bring him home,” they said in a statement posted online by the New South Wales Police Force. Fowler is the son of the force’s Police Chief Insp. Stephen Fowler.

“To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was travelling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating,” the statement reads.

“To know his beautiful girlfriend, Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina also lost her life in this violent event is too cruel.”

Anyone with information, including dash cam footage taken in the area, is asked to call Fort Nelson RCMP at 250-774-2700, or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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