Two young men have gone missing on a Canadian highway just days after an Australian backpacker and his American lover were shot dead in the same region.
Canadian police have urgently requested the public’s help in finding Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18.
The car the young men was driving was found on fire on Highway 37 near Dease Lake, in British Columbia, last Friday.
A body of another, unknown man was found nearby.
The disappearance of the two men comes a week after New South Wales man Lucas Fowler, 24, and Chynna Deese, 23, from North Carolina, were found shot dead on the province’s Highway 87.
Investigators looking into both incidents are sharing information, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman Dawn Roberts.
MISSING: Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky have disappeared driving around the same region of Canada as Australian man Lucas Fowler and American woman Chynna Deese
The red and grey Dodge ‘pickup truck’ the pair were travelling in when they disappeared
Shot dead: Lucas Fowler, the 24-year-old son of a senior New South Wales police officer, and his girlfriend Chynna Deese, from Charlotte, North Carolina, were found dead on the Alaska Highway last Monday
Fowler and Deese’s beat-up Chevrolet minivan is pictured with the back window smashed in and covered with a plastic patch
Ms Roberts said today: ‘Kam and Bryer have periodically connected with family and friends over the past week and it is possible that they are now in 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 police right away and let us know you are okay,’ Ms Roberts said.
The spokeswoman acknowledged ‘growing community concern’ about homicide investigations in the state’s north.
Police said Kam and Bryer’s car was found 470 kilometres from Lucas and Chynna’s bodies and the incidents were days apart.
Local cops have previously dismissed fears of a ‘serial killer’ in Canada’s westernmost province.
Fowler and Deese’s own beat-up Chevrolet minivan was pictured earlier with a blown out back window.
Who exactly killed Mr Fowler, from Sydney, New South Wales, and Ms Deese, from Charlotte, North Carolina, remains a mystery.
But Ms Deese’s family has been told the injuries were so grisly they could not have an open casket at her funeral.
The damaged van was photographed in a police parking lot on Monday – as witnesses came forward to tell of their final encounters with the tragic couple, including a ‘sliding doors’ moment that could have changed everything.
Good Samaritans Sandra Broughton and her husband Curtis claimed to have a fateful encounter with the young lovers last Sunday.
They were heading home along Alaska Highway after visiting Liard Hot Springs on Sunday at 3.20pm when they saw Mr Fowler and Ms Deese’s van broken down on the side of the road.
Mr Broughton, a mechanic, presumed they needed help and pulled over. He said the couple were relaxing on fold-out chairs on the side of the road and were ‘happy and smiling’ despite the circumstances.
‘They were having lunch or a bit of a meal when we pulled up.’
Good Samaritans Sandra and Curtis Broughton offered to help the broken down couple
Mr Broughton soon realised the Australian had it all under control.
‘He seemed like he had everything diagnosed properly,’ he said.
‘The vehicle was flooded out and they were going to try and get it going again until they could get the parts they needed.’
The Broughtons got back in their car and drove home.
Days later, they heard what had happened to them on the news.
Ms Broughton told reporters: ‘We were like angels offering to help, being the good in the world but unfortunately they also met the worst and in humanity.’
Another eyewitness has also come forward claiming have seen the young travellers having a ‘heated exchange with a bearded man’.
Road worker Alanda Hull said the couple were standing beside their van and seemed bothered by the man, who she saw in the middle of the road.
‘If you just get a bad feeling, and that’s what I had, you just don’t stop,’ Ms Hull told the Nine Network.
The bodies were found about 20km south of Liard Hot Springs (above)
This Chevrolet mini-van was found at the scene (pictured)
Fowler, the son of New South Wales police inspector Stephen Fowler, and Deese, from met at a hostel in Croatia two years ago.
They fell in love and were travelling across Canada as part of the latest chapter in their globetrotting adventure.
Since 2017, Fowler, from Sydney’s north, had travelled to locations as diverse Myanmar, Japan, Hungary, Spain, South America and Canada.
Before taking off overseas, he played football with the Asquith Soccer Club and lived in Ku-ring-gai.
One of his friends this week paid tribute to the ‘kindest, funniest, sweetest, most carefree and happy human I have ever come across in my life.’
‘No matter what was going on you would just walk in with a beer in one hand, smile and say ‘she’ll be right’.’
His family has flown to Canada to bring his body home. Two NSW homicide detectives are also joining the investigation.
World explorers: Chynna Deese (left) and Lucas Fowler (right) at the Grand Canyon and in Myanmar respectively. The couple met at a hostel in Croatia two years ago
Meanwhile, the Deeses have told media they fear the killer may strike again.
‘I don’t think it’s a serial killer,’ Ms Deese’s father, Dwayne, told the Charlotte Observer.
‘I think of someone who has been convicted of violent crimes before, someone on drugs.
‘That fits the profile better.
‘What worries us is that person is still on the loose and they have a head start.
‘This is going to happen again.
‘There needs to be some kind of a warning system in place for tourists.’
BRITISH COLUMBIA BACKPACKER FEARS: 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
Some 470km away near Dease Lake, police discover an abandoned truck and find the body of a man
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
Police issue urgent appeal for two men who have gone missing near Dease Lake, Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18