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Friday, 19 July 2019

American woman and her Australian boyfriend are 'shot dead by a serial killer' in Canada and dumped on side of Alaska highway after their van broke down during around-the-world trip

  • The bodies of Charlotte Deese and Lucas Fowler were discovered on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia, Canada on Monday
  • Deese, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina, had been travelling the world with her Australian boyfriend 
  • An eyewitness says she spoke with the couple by the side of the highway after their blue minivan broke down on Sunday 
  • Police have now launched a murder investigation amid fears the deaths were the work of a serial killer
  • Between 18 and 50 women having gone missing or have been found murdered on the stretch of highway near in BC, where Deese and Fowler were travelling  
A North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend who were shot dead on the side of a Canadian road could have been victims of a serial killer.   
The bodies of 24-year-old Chynna Deese and her partner Lucas Fowler were discovered on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia on Monday.  
Local police have now launched an investigation into the deaths.   
The couple were travelling in the upper region of B.C., a place known for a 450 mile stretch of road known as 'The Highway of Tears' . 
Between 18 and 50 women have disappeared or have been murdered on that highway in the years since 1970, sparking fears among locals that the couple's deaths could have been the work of a serial killer. 
A witness claims she stopped to speak with the couple by the side of their broken down blue minivan on Sunday. 
Their bodies were discovered about 15 miles south of Liard Hot Springs at 7 am the following morning.  
The bodies of Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler were discovered on the side of the Alaska Highway in British Columbia on Monday
The bodies of Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler were discovered on the side of the Alaska Highway in British Columbia on Monday
The couple are understood to have been shot and Canadian police have launched an investigation into the suspected murders
The couple are understood to have been shot and Canadian police have launched an investigation into the suspected murders
The couple were travelling in upper British Columbia, a place known for 'The Highway of Tears'. Between 18 and 50 women have been gone missing or have been murdered on that 450 mile stretch of road since 1970
The couple were travelling in upper British Columbia, a place known for 'The Highway of Tears'. Between 18 and 50 women have been gone missing or have been murdered on that 450 mile stretch of road since 1970
Police are asking anyone who traveled the stretch of highway between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning to make contact. 
A blue minivan with Alberta number plates was found at the scene and police would like to speak with drivers who saw the vehicle or who may have dashcam footage. 
It is not yet clear why the couple were attacked.
Fowler, who hails from Sydney, Australia, was reportedly working on a ranch in Canada. 
Deese traveled up from her home state of North Carolina, and had begun traveling  further north together. 
Deese recently completed a bachelor's degree in psychology and business at Appalachian State University
In a post shared to Facebook on Thursday, Deese's older brother wrote: '24 hours ago I found out why my little sis didn't text me back. Chynna and Lucas' lives were abruptly taken from a random act of violence while starting their road trip through Canada.'
He added: 'The most chaotic day of my life, family spending hours on the phone with the US Embassy and investigators.'
Meanwhile, Deese's sister, Kennedy, said her family are 'heartbroken' by the deaths. 
'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. 
'They were bright and beautiful souls. We are all still in shock and heartbroken.' 
Deese was an intrepid traveler, who planned to do further exploring with her boyfriend - an Australian national who was working on a ranch in Canada
Deese was an intrepid traveler, who planned to do further exploring with her boyfriend - an Australian national who was working on a ranch in Canada
Deese said her mission was 'traveling the world and looking to meet new people and experience new places from a local's point of view'
Deese said her mission was 'traveling the world and looking to meet new people and experience new places from a local's point of view'
'It is hard to understand the concept of a serial killer,' she wrote in an additional post on Friday. 
Deese recently completed a bachelor's degree in psychology and business at  Appalachian State University, according to her Couchsurfing page. 
In the profile she wrote that her mission was 'traveling the world and looking to meet new people and experience new places from a local's point of view'. 
Deese, who was learning Spanish and studied winemaking in France, described herself as 'easy going' and 'open minded with a positive attitude'.
She was reportedly working as a bartender in her hometown of Charlotte before she commenced her travels with her boyfriend.  
Meanwhile, Deese's former fraternity Zeta Tau Alpha at Appalachian State University said they were honored to call her a 'sister'. 
'It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of our sister, Chynna Deese, who recently passed,' they wrote on Facebook.
'She was such a kind and adventurous soul and we have been honored to call her our sister.
'Our hearts are with Chynna's family during this difficult time, and we are so thankful to everyone for the support and kindness we have already received.'      
Deese was reportedly working as a bartender in her hometown of Charlotte before she commenced her travels with her boyfriend
Deese was reportedly working as a bartender in her hometown of Charlotte before she commenced her travels with her boyfriend
Deese (second from the left) is pictured with her family. Her sister has taken to Facebook to reveal their heartbreak
Deese (second from the left) is pictured with her family. Her sister has taken to Facebook to reveal their heartbreak
Fowler was also an avid traveler. 
In a heartbreaking statement shared Friday, the Fowler family confirmed they lost Lucas in 'the most terrible circumstances'. 
'To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was travelling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating,' they said.
'To know his beautiful girlfriend also lost her life in this violent event is too cruel.' 
Fowler's family are now travelling to Canada to 'bring him home'. 
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed they are providing consular assistance to the man's family. 
'The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance, in accordance with the Consular Services Charter, to the family of an Australian man who died in Canada,' a spokesperson said in a statement. 
'Due to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment.' 
Lucas Fowler and girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina, were travelling when they were killed
Lucas Fowler and girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina, were travelling when they were killed 
 Deese and Fowler were travelling in northern British Columbia, a place known for the notorious 'Highway of Tears'.
It has been the location of many murders and disappearances, which began in 1970. 
Last year alone, three women were murdered or went missing while on the route. 
Chantelle Catherine Simpson, 34, was last seen alive in the city of Terrace on July 4 2018, before her abandoned car was found the following day. 
Her body was discovered two weeks later in the Skeena River, and an exact cause  of death has not been made public. 
Just weeks later, 18-year-old Jessica Patrick vanished after last being seen at a McDonald's along the highway.  Her remains were found down a steep embankment on September 15. 
Meanwhile, 50-year-old Cynthia Martin vanished from the nearby town of Hazelton on December 23. 
Her car was later found, but she has not been seen since.  
Chantelle Catherine Simpson, 34, was last seen alive in the city of Terrace on July 4 2018, before her abandoned car was found the following day.Just weeks later, 18-year-old Jessica Patrick vanished after last being seen at a McDonald's along the highway
Last year alone, three women were murdered or went missing while on 'The Highway of Tears'. Pictured: Chantelle Catherine Simpson (left), and Jessica Patrick (right)

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