Mystery man ‘argued’ with couple before murders

A CANADIAN road worker claims she saw a couple arguing with a bearded man the night before the bodies of Australian backpacker Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese were found.

Alandra Hull told Nine News she noticed a couple in a "heated exchange with a bearded man" in the middle of the Alaska Highway.

She said the couple seemed bothered by a mystery man who had approached them from a grey car.

The road worker said she saw a van along the highway, similar to the couple's. Investigators have asked her to provide a composite of the mystery man.

Another road worker, Trevor, told Nine he found the couple's bodies the next day.

 

Lucas Fowler and his girlfriend Chynna Deese. Picture: Supplied
Lucas Fowler and his girlfriend Chynna Deese. Picture: Supplied

 

Lucas and Chynna were found dead last Monday about 750km from the side of the Alaska Highway after their blue 1986 Chevrolet van broke down.

Trevor claimed when he saw the van the back right window of it had been smashed and both right doors were left open.

He told Nine he rushed to the couple's bodies to see if they could be saved and that what he saw is still vivid in his mind.

The latest development comes as Canadian police are believed to know the car driven by the double killer who shot the couple.

 

 

 

 

According to a local chef who works close to where the murders took place in remote northern British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police know the vehicle used by the killer to flee the scene but have yet to find it.

Investigators are also said to know that the suspect fled north, meaning he would have headed in the direction of where a third body was found close to a burning pick-up truck on Friday.

Police have so far not said if there is any connection between the double killing and the discovery of the burning remains more than 600km away.

 

Lucas Fowler and his girlfriend Chynna Deese were found dead 20 kilometres south of Liard Hot Springs. Picture: Supplied/The Deese family
Lucas Fowler and his girlfriend Chynna Deese were found dead 20 kilometres south of Liard Hot Springs. Picture: Supplied/The Deese family

Matt Moon, cook at the Double G Service cafe and lodge on the Alaska Highway, said: "There is talk that the police know the shooter's car.

"There is also talk that the killer headed north.

"It comes from questions the police have been asking local people.

"They haven't found the car yet but they're looking for it.

"It's pretty crazy.

"This kind of thing doesn't happen too often up here.

"Shootings happen elsewhere in the world but you don't think it can be on your doorstep.

"We're all scared because there's a double killer out there and anyone on that road could be another victim."

 

 

 

 

Looking for answers. Homicide Squad detectives including Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Walpole are in Vancouver as part of the investigation. Picture: Clint Brewer
Looking for answers. Homicide Squad detectives including Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Walpole are in Vancouver as part of the investigation. Picture: Clint Brewer

Meanwhile, Lucas's heartbroken family landed in Canada as local authorities vowed to look at all leads to solve the murders.

Mr Fowler's father, NSW Police Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler, told Nine while transiting at Los Angeles airport that Lucas was "just a wonderful boy".

"He's a loss to so many people. And his girlfriend also - it's just devastating. And our heart goes out to the whole of her family," Chief Insp Fowler said. "We are just crushed."

Two NSW homicide detectives, Chief Inspector Wayne Walpole and Sergeant Adam Childs, also travelled to Canada to help as liaisons.

Ms Deese's devastated mother Sheila Deese said that she was still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy as she paid tribute to her daughter. "She just loved everybody," Mrs Deese said.

She said that Mr Fowler and her daughter were very much in love, describing their relationship as something you would expect to find in romantic fiction.

"She (Chynna) was happy. She was so happy - and that gives me comfort," Mrs Deese said. "This is what makes me happy, their love story is something you would read in a novel. They had plans for the future.

"They were meant to be. She loved him so much."

All DCI Walpole would say about the case was "please speak to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police" when asked if he had any updates.

The Aussie cops were ushered through a customs room to airside where they met Chief Inspector Fowler and his grief-stricken family.

The family is expected to bring Lucas's body back home to Australia as soon as the Canadian authorities allow it.

Up to 30 police have now been assigned to hunt whoever shot the couple.

A member of the Royal Canadian Mountain Police's investigations team asked about the hunt for the killer's car said: "You need to speak to a media officer."

Messages were left for media officers but the call was not returned, another media officer not working directly on the case said: "We don't have the resources to answer media called 24/7."

Chynna's family are not yet travelling to Canada and they are being assisted by the American FBI.

A distraught family member at Chynna's home in North Carolina said they were "too upset" to travel to Canada at this time.



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