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Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese’s minivan pictured with blown out back window

The beat-up Chevy minivan driven around Canada by a murdered Australian backpacker and his American lover has been pictured with a blown out back window.  

Lucas Fowler, 24, and Chynna Deese, 23, were shot dead by a mystery gunman a week ago and now photographs have emerged of their vehicle after it was seized by police. 

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.  

Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese’s beat-up Chevrolet minivan is pictured with the back window smashed in and covered with a plastic patch

Fowler, the 24-year-old son of a senior New South Wales police officer, and his girlfriend Deese, from Charlotte, North Carolina, were found dead on the Alaska Highway last Monday

Fowler, the 24-year-old son of a senior New South Wales police officer, and his girlfriend Deese, from Charlotte, North Carolina, were found dead on the Alaska Highway last Monday

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

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)

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

This Chevrolet mini-van was found at the scene (pictured)

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) at the Grand Canyon

World explorers: Mr Fowler in Myanmar

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.’

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