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2 missing teens now suspects in deaths of couple along Alaska Highway in BC, authorities say

  • Author: Jessica Schladebeck, Tim Balk, New York Daily News
  • Updated: July 23
  • Published July 23

Security camera images of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are displayed during a news conference in Surrey, British Columbia, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The two young men, thought to be missing, are now suspects in the murders of an American woman and her Australian boyfriend as well as the death of another man in northern British Columbia, Canadian police said Tuesday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Two Canadian teenagers, previously thought to be missing, are now suspects in the killings of a North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend, authorities in Canada said Tuesday.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmelgesky, 18, had been missing at the same time as the Canadian Royal Mounted Police investigated the deaths of two tourists, 23-year-old Lucas Fowler and his 24-year-old girlfriend, Chynna Deese, whose bodies turned up along the Alaska Highway on July 15.

“If you spot Bryer or Kam, consider them dangerous, do not approach, take no action, and call immediately: 911," Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said at a Tuesday news conference. “This investigation is very complex and ever evolving.”

McLeod and Schmelgesky are also suspects in a third death in Dease Lake, B.C., near where the two teens’ car was found aflame before they went missing.

The fact that the two investigations — involving the search for the missing teens and the the deaths of Fowler and Deese — were occurring at the same time had been described as “unusual” by Shoihet on Monday.

Chynna Deese, 24, and her boyfriend, 23-year-old Lucas Robertson Fowler, were found dead on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia on July 15, 2019. Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigators said they believe the two were killed. (Photo courtesy RCMP)

Fowler and Deese were touring Canada and had been approaching the end of a road trip through Canada to Alaska when their 1968 Chevrolet van broke down about, 12 miles south of Liard Hot Springs.

Four days after discovery of couple’s remains, authorities in nearby Dease Lake began their search for McLeod and Schmegelsky.

Their truck was found in flames shortly after they left home for Whitehorse to search for work in the Yukon, the Guardian reported.

Amid their hunt for the missing teens, authorities also discovered the body of the third man less than a mile away from the pair’s burning car.

Fowler’s father, Stephen Fowler, who is also the New South Wales chief police inspector, appealed for the public to come forward with any information that could should shed light on the case.

“We are just distraught,” he said following the Monday police press conference.

“This has really torn two families apart. Our son Lucas was having the time of his life traveling the world. He met a beautiful young lady. And they teamed up, they were a great pair, and they fell in love.”

Authorities have additionally requested the public come forward with any dashboard-camera or surveillance footage, information on the blue van or any details from the night of the couple’s deaths. They also urged travelers and motorists to remain vigilant and aware when they’re in the area.

“We encourage people to camp in known or established locations,” authorities said in a Monday statement. “In addition, general safety precautions continue to apply: make sure family or friends are aware of your travel plans, establish check-in times to provide updates and make sure that if your plans change you let someone know.”

Royal Mounted Police Sgt. Janelle Shoihet gestures toward security camera images of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, displayed during a conference in Surrey, British Columbia, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The two young men, thought to be missing, are now suspects in the murders of an American woman and her Australian boyfriend as well as the death of another man in northern British Columbia, Canadian police said Tuesday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

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