Manhunt for teens suspected of triple murder in Canada
April 02, 2022
24 year old Chynna Noelle Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina and her Australian boyfriend, 23 year old Lucas Robertson Fowler met while travelling in Croatia in 2017. They were highly compatible and very similar in nature and inevitably fell in love with each other. Fowler lived in British Columbia Canada and in the summer of 2019 the pair planned a three week long camping trip through Canada’s nation parks and rural country landscapes. The two were excited for the trip, not only because they would get to spend time together but also because they loved traveling and adventure.
CCTV cameras captured the young couple on July 13th 2019 at a gas station. In the footage 6"3 Australian national, Lucas Fowler, opens the door of his blue 1986 Chevrolet van with Alberta plates and begins pulling on his shoes. Chynna Deese climbs out of the other side and gets out to locate a squeegee to clean the vehicles dusty windows while Fowler fills up the tank with gas. The couple share a touching embrace before heading into the gas station to pay. The height difference is so big that Deese has to climb up on to a step to wrap her arms around Fowler. After spending around 17 minutes at the gas station they climb back inside the van and continue on their journey.
The following night On July 14th a road worker named Alanda Hull witnessed the couple arguing with a bearded man on the highway. She descried the unidentified man as appearing frustrated while the couple lingered nearby their van.
Both Fowler and Deese were discovered shot dead on July 19th along a baron stretch of road on the Alaskan highway just 12 miles from the popular tourist destination of Liard Hot Springs.
Around the same time the body of 64 year old Leonard Dyck was found on highway 37. Dyck, a botany lecturer at the University of British Columbia, was also on a camping trip at the time of his murder. He was a happily married nature lover with two children who he often went on camping trips with.
His body was found nearby a blazing red and grey pickup truck. The pick-up was later connected to two missing teenagers, Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky. The two teenage boys were childhood friends who had informed their parents that they were leaving their home in Port Alberni to go look for work in Yukon. The boys had just graduated and had been working together at a local Walmart for around 5 weeks, but were unsatisfied with the wages and decided to extend their search for employment to the surrounding towns and cities.
The boys were quickly identified as suspects in the murder of Dyck and were charged with second degree murder. Although the police did not initially believe that the murders of Deese, Fowler and Dyck were related, they would soon come to link the crimes back to McLeod and Schmegelsky who were now on the run.
Police followed a series of sightings across a span of 2000 miles that eventually lead them to a burned out white or grey Toyota RAV4 just off Highway 290 on a gravel path. They boys had driven all the way to a sparsely populated town called Gillam in Manitoba, population 1265.
They are believed to be hiding out in the Canadian wilderness and although the terrain is tough it's thought that it is possible to survive there with basic outdoor training. Gillam is home to large predators, such as bears and wolves as well as relentless variations of insects that could easily bring a stranded hiker to their knees. In order to survive, the teenage triple murder suspects would at the very least have to set up an adequate camp or squat one of the many hunting cabins dotted around the Gillam bush.
They would also have to clean local water sources of parasites before drinking and be able to forage and hunt for sustenance. It's not yet clear if they boys have any basic survival training but according to family and friends they did both have an interest in the military and military history so it’s likely that they would have at least watched training videos and possibly tried out some techniques in the woods they were said to frequent regularly.
A manhunt for the boys turned up nothing, however a small heavily damaged rowing boat was later discovered on a river bank in the area. The external damage suggested that the small boat had been battered by rapids implying that the boys had attempted to row it downstream away from the authorities who were out looking for them. Although there is no definite link between the fugitives and the row boat authorities are dragging the river.
Bryer Schmegelsky's father explained to the media that his son was a good person who just had a hard life. He tearfully described how well-mannered and courteous Bryer was, but said he was in pain and he wanted that pain to end. He explained that he knew his son was likely going to go out in a "blaze of glory" in a shoot-out with the police.
On the subject of guns he said his son didn't own a gun but confessed that he had purchased an airsoft rifle for him one Christmas because he liked playing video games and playing "war" out in the woods.
Lucas Robert Fowlers parents will make a trip across the globe to collect their son’s body and take him home. Both families are devastated at the loss of their children but find a small comfort in the knowledge that they were together when they met their untimely ends.
Update: The suspects have allegedly been found dead of suspected suicide.