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Australian man hugs American girlfriend before shot dead in Canada

An Australian cop’s son and his American girlfriend shot dead in Canada were filmed hugging at a petrol station the day before they were murdered.

Lucas Fowler, 23, and Chynna Deese, 24, were found dead on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia on Monday 15 July.

On Saturday night, at around 7.30pm, the pair filled up their blue van at a petrol station and were seen embracing on CCTV footage.  

On Saturday night, at around 7.30pm, the pair filled up their blue van at a petrol station and were seen embracing on CCTV footage

On Saturday night, at around 7.30pm, the pair filled up their blue van at a petrol station and were seen embracing on CCTV footage

On Saturday night, at around 7.30pm, the pair filled up their blue van at a petrol station and were seen embracing on CCTV footage

Canadian authorities released a sketch of a bearded man (pictured) who was seen talking to the couple on the highway

Canadian authorities released a sketch of a bearded man (pictured) who was seen talking to the couple on the highway

Chynna Deese, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina and her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, 23, of Australia, were shot dead on the side of a road in rural British Columbia

Chynna Deese, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina and her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, 23, of Australia, were shot dead on the side of a road in rural British Columbia

It comes as Canadian authorities release a sketch of a bearded man who was seen talking to the couple on the highway.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the man, who was driving a Jeep Cherokee with a black pinstripe on the bonnet, is not a suspect, but someone who investigators want to speak to. 

A passerby saw Mr Fowler talking to the bearded man. 

A road worker, Alandra Hull, told the Nine Network she saw Mr Fowler and Ms Deese on the highway the night before they were found dead talking to a bearded man who ‘kind of looked frustrated or something’.

Five days after the couple was found dead, police found a body near a burning pickup truck about 470km away.

On Monday officers said ‘it is possible’ the deaths are linked.

Two teenagers who were driving the pickup truck, 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, are missing.

The bodies were found about 20km south of Liard Hot Springs (above)

The bodies were found about 20km south of Liard Hot Springs (above)

This Chevrolet mini-van was found at the scene (pictured). The pair were only two days into their ten day journey when they were killed after their van reportedly broke down

This Chevrolet mini-van was found at the scene (pictured). The pair were only two days into their ten day journey when they were killed after their van reportedly broke down

Sgt Shoihet said investigators are not treating the teens as suspects but want them to contact authorities.

‘We’re hopeful they’re alive,’ Sgt Shoihet said.

Police also released a sketch of the man who was found dead near the burning pickup.

They ruled out the man being one of the teenagers.

They described him as being Caucasian and aged 50 to 60-years-old.

Mr Fowler’s father Stephen, a senior NSW Police officer, addressed media at a press conference on Monday.

‘It’s torn two families apart’: Lucas Fowler’s father breaks down as he talks about the double murder 

Mr Fowler’s father Stephen, a senior NSW Police officer, addressed media at a press conference in Canada on Monday.

He said the pair were beautiful and loved each other and their deaths had torn two families apart. 

Talking about his son’s trip, he said: ‘He came to Canada and he planned a trip in a van with Chynna.

‘It’s a love story that’s ended tragically. It’s the worst ever love story.

Mr Fowler's father Stephen (pictured), a senior NSW Police officer, addressed media at a press conference in Canada on Monday

Mr Fowler’s father Stephen (pictured), a senior NSW Police officer, addressed media at a press conference in Canada on Monday

‘We have two young people who had everything ahead of them who have been murdered.’ 

‘I may be an experienced police officer, but today I’m standing here as the father of a murder victim,’ Fowler said.

‘Nothing prepares my family for what we are going through now.’

‘We’re just distraught’.

‘I may be an experienced police officer but I’m standing here as the father of the murder victim,’ Chief inspector Fowler, of Sydney’s northwest Hills district, told reporters.

‘We’re just distraught.’     

On Monday Ms Deese’s family said they are ‘never going to get full closure’ following the deaths. 

Speaking to Good Morning America Chynna’s brother British said: ‘I don’t know who would do something like this. This is an international murder case in Canada of an Australian and an American and still no large public travelers’ notice.

‘It doesn’t add up and it’s concerning and we are never going to get full closure on this and its going to hurt the rest of our lives.’

Sheila Deese: ‘This was someone’s son, someone’s daughter.

‘And I want people to know, you know, who she was, she volunteered and she gave. She wasn’t materialistic and she was a beautiful person.’

Sheila and British Deese, left and right, have paid tribute to tragic Chynna after she was found murdered on Canadian highway with her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler

Sheila and British Deese, left and right, have paid tribute to tragic Chynna after she was found murdered on Canadian highway with her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler

Shiela called her daughter 'beautiful', adding: 'I want people to know, you know, who she was, she volunteered and she gave. She wasn't materialistic and she was a beautiful person'

Shiela called her daughter ‘beautiful’, adding: ‘I want people to know, you know, who she was, she volunteered and she gave. She wasn’t materialistic and she was a beautiful person’

She added: ‘Their story is like a love story that you would read about. This Southern girl meets this wonderful Australian man. They were just so in love and both loved traveling.

‘As a mom, this is so hard because she was part of me. Kind of my mini me.

‘The hardest part for me is to watch my other children hurting and suffering and their memories. They say you’re only as happy as your saddest child I’m missing one child and I have three very sad children.’

The pair were only two days into their ten day journey around the northwest of the country when they were killed after their van reportedly broke down. 

Road worker Alandra Hull told Nine News she saw the couple ‘in a heated exchange with a bearded man’.

She said the couple seemed bothered by the exchange and the man had approached them from his grey car. 

Another road worker and medic named Trevor, who found the couple after they had been shot, said the back right window of the couple’s van was smashed. 

Road worker Alandra Hull said she saw the couple 'in a heated exchange with a bearded man'

Road worker Alandra Hull said she saw the couple ‘in a heated exchange with a bearded man’

Chynna Deese, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina

Lucas Fowler, 23, of Australia

The couple met in 2017 and spent the next two years sharing their love of travel by visiting Central and South America, Japan and South East Asia

The couple were travelling in the upper region of British Columbia, a place notorious for ‘The Highway of Tears’ – a 450 mile stretch of road upon which 50 women have disappeared or been murdered since 1970. 

A couple who drove by offering help said Fowler told them they did not need help with their broken down van. 

The passerby said: ‘The gentleman insisted that they were okay and that he didn’t need our help and that in that same day somebody so evil would do something so horrific to them, that’s just terrible.’ 

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. 

The couple met in 2017 and spent the next two years sharing their love of travel by visiting Central and South America, Japan and South East Asia. 

MURDER ON THE ‘HIGHWAY OF TEARS’: A TIMELINE 

Monday, July 15, 2019: At 7.19am, Royal Mounted Canadian Police are called to the side of the road on the Alaska Highway, in remote British Columbia.

Police found the bodies of a young man and young woman about 20km south of the Liard Hot Springs, not far from a beat-up blue minivan.   

Tuesday, July 16: Police publicly announce the two bodies were found dead on the side of Highway 97 but say ‘no further information is available’

Wednesday, July 17: Investigators ask anyone who may have seen, or have dashcam footage, between 4pm Sunday and 8am Monday to come forward 

Thursday, July 18: Detectives confirm the identities of the two dead as Lucas Fowler, 24, and Chynna Deese, 23

Friday, July 19: NSW Police, the Fowler and Deese families release statements paying tribute to their lost loved ones

July 20: NSW homicide officers and the Fowler family arrive in Canada to assist the investigation. 

July 21: Witness tells media of seeing a ‘bearded man’ having a ‘heated exchange’ with Fowler and Deese on the side of the highway

July 22: Pictures emerge of Fowler and Deese’s minivan with a blown out back window 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk