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World

AFP
July 23, 2019

Canada police seek person of interest after double murder

World

AFP
Tue, Jul 23, 2019

Police in Canada on Monday released a sketch depicting a bearded man wanted for questioning after the bodies of two tourists were discovered in a rural part of British Columbia.

The bodies of 23-year-old Lucas Fowler from Sydney, Australia and his 24-year-old girlfriend Chynna Deese from North Carolina in the United States were found last Monday along the side of the road in the province's remote north.

"We can now confirm that Chynna and Lucas were the victims of gun violence," Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spokeswoman Janella Shoihet told a news conference.

The federal police agency released a sketch showing a man wearing a cap and a beard who was seen speaking with Fowler the day before the tragedy.

"I want to be clear this man is not a suspect. He´s a person with whom investigators wish to speak," Shoihet said.

Fowler and Deese´s murder came as police investigated the disappearance of 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky in another part of British Columbia.

Authorities discovered their pickup truck engulfed in flames 292 miles from where the tourists were found. Nearby, they discovered the body of a man in his 50s whose identity hasn´t yet been determined.

McLeod and Schmegelsky are considered missing, Shoihet said, and police are now investigating the possibility of a link between their case and the killings of the tourists.

"Understandably, this is unusual to have two major investigations ongoing of this nature in northern BC at the same time. And so we recognize that there is a possibility that these could be linked," Shoihet said.

Fowler´s family traveled from Australia to attend the RCMP press conference, with his father Stephen Fowler telling reporters, "We are just distraught."

"I may be an experienced police officer, but today I´m standing here as the father of the murder victim," said Fowler, a senior police inspector in New South Wales.

"Our son, Lucas, was having the time of his life travelling the world. He met a beautiful young lady and they teamed up. They were a great pair and they fell in love," he said.

"It´s the worst-ever love story. Because we now have two young people who had everything ahead of them, tragically murdered."