CCTV shows 'inseparable' couple before grisly highway murders

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

Newly released CCTV footage from police shows an Australian man and his American girlfriend at a petrol station two days before their dead bodies were found at the side of a Canadian highway.

Lucas Fowler, 23, and Chynna Deese, 24, can be seen cleaning and tending to their blue 1986 Chevrolet van at a service station in Fort Nelson at 7.30pm on July 13.

At one point the couple wrap their arms around each other in a warm embrace, portraying the “inseparable” bond Mr Fowler’s father described in a press conference on Monday.

Mr Fowler and Ms Deese embrace at the Fort Nelson service station. Source: RCMP

The pair appear blissfully unaware of what was to follow in the following 48 hours.

The service station is about 300km from where the couple were found shot dead beside the Alaska Highway on the morning of July 15.

In the footage, the back right window of their van remains intact, differing from photos following the discovery of their bodies where the window had been smashed and covered in a black sheet.

British Columbia Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Janelle Shoihet confirmed on Monday (local time) that Mr Fowler and Ms Deese were victims of gun violence.

The couple were inseparable, according to Mr Fowler's father. Source: Facebook

And police cautiously offered their first indication that the dead body of a man found on Friday may be related to the deaths of Mr Fowler and Ms Deese.

"It's possible," RCMP Corporal Chris Manseau told reporters.

The body was found near a burning red and grey Dodge pick-up truck that had a distinctive sleeping camper attached.

The body has not been identified but the Dodge was driven by 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky from Port Alberni, British Columbia.

Police said Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky "have not been in contact with their family for the last few days".

The Dodge was found near Dease Lake, approximately 470km away from where Mr Fowler and Ms Deese were found dead.

Police released a composite image of a bearded man in connection to Mr Fowler and Ms Deese’s deaths, however Sgt Shoihet stressed he was merely a person of interest and not a suspect.

The man who was seen talking to Mr Fowler is described "as Caucasian with darker skin and dark hair" and was driving a Jeep Cherokee with black racing stripes on the bonnet.

Police released a composite of a man with a beard who they would like to speak to in relation to the deaths. Source: CTV

Speaking at the press conference, father Stephen Fowler, a Chief Inspector for NSW Police, said “nothing prepares me for what my family is going through now.”

"As you know, I may have been an experienced police officer but today I'm standing here as the father of a murder victim," he said.

"Two young people who had everything ahead of them tragically murdered.

“It’s the worst ever love story”.

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