Australian police chief's son and American girlfriend, both 24, shot dead in Canada by serial killer after van breaks down during road trip
Authorities believe that Lucas Fowler and and 24-year-old Chynna Deese, whose bodies were found beside a highway in British Columbia, were killed by a serial killer
An Australian police chief inspector's son and his American girlfriend were shot dead while traveling in Canada, in what is being considered the handiwork of a suspected serial killer, according to reports.
The bodies of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese, both 24, were discovered on Monday on the side of the Alaska Highway in British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada. The regional police believe that the couple was shot dead, and Fowler was soon identified as the son of NSW Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler from Sydney's Hills District. The authorities have launched an investigation into the suspected murders.
Local authorities, meanwhile, suspect that the young couple, who were traveling the world, could have been attacked by a serial killer, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The Fowler family, days after the tragic discovery, released a heartbreaking statement, confirming that they lost Lucas in "the most terrible circumstances."
"To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was traveling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating," the Fowler family said. "To know his beautiful girlfriend, Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina also lost her life in this violent event is too cruel."
The family is reportedly going to Canada to "bring him home."
Reports state that Northern Rockies officers were called to the highway at 7:19 am on Monday. Authorities are now asking people who traveled the stretch between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning before 8 am to contact them.
A blue minivan with Alberta number plates was also found at the scene and police are saying that they would like to speak to the drivers going through that stretch who may have seen the vehicle or have dashcam footage.
A woman, on Facebook, wrote that she had seen the young couple with their broken down van on Sunday: "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. This makes my heart so sad." The woman added that her husband has been in contact with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
NSW Police released a statement, saying they were providing support to the father of the victim: "The NSW Police Force has been alerted to the death of a man and a woman in Canada. The man is the son of a serving senior officer and as such we are providing support to him and his family. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. The investigation into this incident is being led by the Canadian authorities and as such, they will be the appropriate source information as it comes to hand."
While Deese's sister also released a statement saying her family is "hearbroken." "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," she wrote on Facebook.
"No further information is available at this time, please do not ask. They were bright and beautiful souls. We are all still in shock and heartbroken," she added. Deese, from Charlotte, North Carolina, who recently completed her bachelor's degree psychology and business, had said that her "current mission" is "traveling the world and looking to meet new people and experience new places from a local's point of view."