Murder victim Chynna Deese (left) is pictured with her mum Sheila
The mum of a tragic backpacker shot and killed on the side of a Canadian highway while on a dream holiday with her Australian boyfriend has shared the last text she received from her daughter.
Love-struck couple Chynna Deese, 24, and Lucas Fowler, 23, were killed by teenagers Kam McLeod, 18, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 19, while on a road trip adventure through British Columbia on July 15, 2019.
The teenagers also shot and killed 64-year-old University of British Columbia botany lecturer Leonard Dyck four days later, stole his Toyota RAV4, set their own pick-up truck on fire and sparked a nationwide manhunt.
On August 7, Canadian Police announced they found McLeod and Schmegelsky’s bodies in bushland, after the pair decided to end their lives.
One year on from the couple’s death Chynna’s mum Sheila told news.com.au she last heard from her daughter on July 13.
The 24-year-old, from North Carolina, had told her she was excited to be reunited with her boyfriend, who was from Sydney.
Love-struck couple Chynna Deese, 24, and Lucas Fowler, 23, were killed while on a road trip adventure through British Columbia on July 15, 2019
Chynna’s mum Sheila said she last heard from her daughter on July 13, two days before her body was found
‘The last thing Chynna said to me was ”we won’t have Wi-Fi for a while so don’t worry mum and I love you”,’ Ms Deese said.
‘So I wasn’t worried when I didn’t hear from her and plus she was with Lucas.
‘There was not an ounce of worry I had about this trip because it was Canada, Canada was meant to be safe. Chynna had travelled to 13 different countries, why would anything happen to her in Canada?’
Over text messages, Ms Deese wished her daughter ‘safe travels’ and said she was excited to hear about the couple’s adventure.
Ms Deese said she never expected she would never hear from her daughter again.
The devastated mother and her other children Stetson, 31, Kennedy, 30, and British, 28, are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of Chynna.
Sheila Deese said she could not understand why the teenagers decided to kill the young couple, who she describes as ‘two beautiful people’. Pictured: Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler
A national manhunt was sparked after Chynna and Lucas’ bodies were found on a highway
The mother said she could not understand why the teenagers decided to kill the young couple, who she describes as ‘two beautiful people’.
Ms Deese told the publication she likes to think of her daughter and Lucas how they were seen in CCTV footage days before their murder.
The couple had stopped to fill up gas and were seen hugging in the vision. Ms Deese described the pair as a ‘team’ and it was ‘a gift to see how much they loved each other’.
The couple met in Croatia in 2017 and spent the next two years sharing their love of travel.
At Lucas’ funeral last year, New South Wales Police Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler said he was glad his son had found Chynna.
‘The day she stole Lucas’s heart she became part of her family,’ Mr Fowler said. ‘We were so happy he had met a life partner’.
Ms Deese and her other children Stetson, 31, Kennedy, 30, and British, 28, are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of Chynna (pictured)
Kam McLeod (left), 18, and Bryer Schmegelsky (right), 19, went on a murder rampage in northern British Columbia in July, 2019
‘We are so happy that Lucas and Chynna found each other and had such a great time travelling together, meeting new friends and just milking every last drop of fun out of life.’
Mr Fowler said his son had lived a life many would envy.
‘He didn’t just dream of travelling, he worked and saved and made it happen …
‘He met the love of his life and was at his happiest.’
Their future had been equally bright, Mr Fowler said.
‘We so looked forward to having Chynna in our family.
‘Her mother tells us she wanted her kids to have an Aussie accent.’
The couple met in Croatia in 2017 and spent the next two years sharing their love of travel
SUSPECTED SERIAL KILLERS ON THE RUN IN CANADA: A TIMELINE
July 12: Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky leave their hometown of Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, to search for work in Whitehorse, Yukon, according to family members
July 15: Police find the bodies of Chynna Deese, a 24-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Lucas Fowler, a 23-year-old from Sydney, Australia, on the side of Highway 97 about 12 miles south of Liard Hot Springs in remote British Columbia.
The blue 1986 Chevrolet van they were driving on their road trip through Canada is found nearby with a blown-out back window
July 18: McLeod’s torched Dodge pickup truck is found 300 miles away near Dease Lake
July 19: The body of Leonard Dyck, a 64-year-old Vancouver botanist, is found about a mile away from the burned-out remains of the truck McLeod and Schmegelsky were traveling in.
RCMP reports the teens as missing, fearing that they had been killed or kidnapped by whomever committed the murders of Deese, Fowler and Dyck
July 24: Schmegelsky and McLeod are named as suspects in the three murders after the RAV4 was found in flames near Gillam
July 29: York Landing in Manitoba is thrown into lockdown after two men were spotted foraging for food at local landfill, sparking a massive search by police, military, tracking dogs and drones
August 1: Police begin searching the province of Ontario, 1,200 miles from where the pair were last seen, after reports of a suspicious vehicle near Kapuskasing
August 2: Police say the sighting of the pair in Ontario was not credible, as Lucas Fowler’s friends and family hold an emotional memorial for him in Sydney.
Local tour guide Clint Sawchuk spots a blue sleeping bag in the Nelson River outside Gillam and contacts police
August 3: Sawchuk’s tip leads police to a battered row boat washed up on the river bank
August 6: The search diverts to the town of Sundance, which has been abandoned since 1992, and once housed a murder suspect for three years
August 7: Canadian Police announce that two male bodies believed to belong to McLeod and Schmegelsky were found in ‘dense bush’ by the Nelson River, five miles from where they abandoned the burning car.
August 12: Autopsy confirms the teens died of self-inflicted gunshots