Monday, July 22, 2019

Northern BC case files grow in string of suspicious deaths and missing persons case

Northern British Columbia has been gaining some international attention after
cases of homicide and a missing persons file were announced last week

A string of suspicious, but as of yet un-related cases is putting the RCMP in Northern British Columbia into a global spotlight this week, as they currently work three high profile incidents, one along Highway 97 and the two others along Highway 37 near Dease Lake.

The first of the major case files has been the discovery of the bodies of two visiting tourists near the Liard Hot Springs close to the Yukon border, with an Australian Man and American woman found dead on the side of the road last week.

RCMP frontline officers were called to an area of Highway 97 approximately 20 kilometres south of Liard Hot Springs, upon arrival they discovered the bodies of two adults, later identified as Chynna Noelle Deese, a twenty four year old from North Carolina and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia.

The focus of the investigation has since been shifted over the weekend from that of a suspicious death to that of a homicide.

As part of their investigation the RCMP issued a call for anyone who may have been travelling in the area of the LIard Hot Springs are to contact them.

Investigators are asking to speak with anyone who may have been travelling in the area of Liard Hot Springs, including any camping areas, and on the Alaska Highway 97 between Sunday July 14, at 4:00 p.m. to Monday July 15, 8:00 a.m.. 

We are particularly interested in speaking with anyone who may have dashcam footage. Should you have information relating to the blue van or the deaths of Chynna and Lucas, and have not already spoken to police, we ask that you contact the Northern Rockies RCMP at 250 774-2700.

There are also plans to provide another information update later today.

The two deaths have become a significant story in Australia, as Mr. Fowler is the son of a Senior Australian police official.

As they were investigating the Deese/Folwer homicides, some five hours to the west, RCMP patrols out of Dease Lake came across another suspicious incident, with the body of a still unidentified male located near a highway 37 pullout, with Mounties subsequently responded to a vehicle on fire call at the Stikine River Bridge.

On Sunday, the case took another twist, as it was outlined how the camper truck belonged to two Port Alberni teens, who have now been reported as missing, with the RCMP looking to make contact with 19 year old Kam McLeod and 18 year old Bryer Schmelsky.

On Sunday, the RCMP called on the assistance of the public in their search for the two missing teens and made note of the growing concern about the ongoing investigations.

Police acknowledge there are growing community concerns about the ongoing homicide investigations in northern BC. The Dease Lake incident occurred on July 19, 2019 and the other incident occurred between July 14-15, 2019, approximately 470 kilometres away. At this time, investigators are sharing information and police would like to ensure awareness around both investigations. 

The RCMP would ask the public to continue to take any general safety precautions and remain vigilant at this time. We also remind travelers to share your plans with family and friends, establish check-in times and notify someone if your plans change.

The nature of the violent incidents and the continued status of missing for the Port Alberni residents has brought the case files to wide media review and captured the attention of the public that continues to await further updates and information.

The Background to both investigations, along with information briefings and news reports on the case files can be found from an archive page we have created, which you can access here.

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