Murdered tourist couple in Canada and two missing teens in the same region could be linked, police say
After initially denying any connection, authorities are looking at the possibility that the two cases which occurred nearly 290 miles apart in the sparsely-populated region might be linked
There is a possibility that the case of the young tourist couple, who were shot dead on a Canadian highway last week, and the two missing teenagers from the same region of British Columbia could be linked, Canadian police have said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in a statement last week, said there was not sufficient evidence to suggest that the deaths of an Australian man, Lucas Fowler, and his American girlfriend, Chynna Deese, were connected to the teenagers' disappearance. The officials had also ruled out the possible connection of their deaths to the body of an unidentified man found near the missing teens' burning car.
The RCMP, however, on Monday, acknowledged "growing community concerns" about the two cases which occurred nearly 290 miles apart in the sparsely populated region, according to CNN.
Cpl. Chris Manseau, in a statement, said it was unusual for officials in northern British Columbia to have "complex and dynamic" cases at once and that it was "possible" that the two cases were connected. The official, however, did not provide further information on any link but revealed more details on the missing teens' case, along with new information in the couple's death.
The officers identified the teens as 19-year-old Kam McLeod, and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky. Their car was found burning on the side of Highway 37 on Friday, and the RCMP have launched a search for the duo. The police, while investigating the fire, discovered the body of the still unidentified man over a mile away. They have released a composite sketch of the man in an attempt to ascertain his identity.
The man was described as a Caucasian with a heavy build, between 50-60 years old with gray hair and a bushy beard, with an approximate height of 5 feet, 8 inches.
The teenagers were reportedly traveling from Port Alberni to the Yukon Territory to look for work, according to the RCMP. The duo was last seen traveling south from a general store near Dease Lake on July 18. They were reportedly driving a red and gray Dodge pickup truck with a sleeping camper that was found on fire the next day.
British Columbia's RCMP Communications' Dawn Roberts said: "Kam and Bryer have periodically connected with family and friends over the past week and it is possible that they are now in an area without cell coverage."
"However, we have found their vehicle and have not been able to locate either of them at this time. We are asking for Kam or Bryer to connect with the police right away and let us know you are okay. Or we ask that anyone who may have spoken to or seen them over the last few days to call the police so we can get a better understanding as to where they might be or their plans," he added.
Meanwhile, latest reports on the tourist couple state that Fowler, 23, had been living in British Columbia and his girlfriend Deese, 24, was visiting him. The couple was soon set to embark on a trip across the globe, according to reports. The pair were shot dead and found on July 15 on Alaska Highway about 12 miles south of Liard Hot Springs. Fowler's 1986 blue Chevrolet van was found at the scene.
Deese's mother, while talking to WSOC, said that the couple was set to travel in a van through Canada to visit all the national parks: "They had mapped out their route. And to my understanding, the van broke down and that's where the tragedy happened."