Canadian investigators are asking for the public's help in finding out who killed a young couple as they were traveling through British Columbia.
Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, of North Carolina, and her boyfriend, Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23, of Australia, were found Monday morning alongside Highway 97, near their blue 1986 Chevrolet van.
It's still unclear whether the couple were targeted by someone or if they were the victims of a random act of violence, police said.
"Early in the investigation, the deaths were deemed suspicious, and investigators from the North District and BC RCMP Major Crime Units were called to assist the investigation," Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said at a press conference Friday.
Fowler and Deese were identified Thursday, three days after their bodies were found.
On Friday, Canadian police held a press conference specifically asking for the public's help, including anyone who may have seen the couple, the van, or whoever may have been driving on the highway between Sunday and Monday.
The press conference was unfortunately marred by the use of a cat filter as police offered details of the case. During the conference, police said they were aware of the "technical difficulties" and posted a new video of the press conference on their Facebook page.
Shoihet added that police were particularly interested in anyone who was driving along Alaska Highway 97 with a dashcam.
Sheila Deese, Chynna's mother, told WSOC-TV that the couple had planned to drive between national parks in Canada, then finish their trip in Alaska. Before they were killed, their van had broken down, she added.
“She was happy. She was so happy and that gives me comfort,” Deese told WSOC.
Fowler's family released a statement through Australia's New South Wales Police Force, where his father is an officer. A NSW police official told the Sydney Morning Herald the couple had been shot.
"To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was traveling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating," Fowler's family statement said. "To know his beautiful girlfriend, Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina also lost her life in this violent event is too cruel."
The couple met at a hostel in Croatia in 2017 and since then had traveled the world together, British Deese, her brother, told McClatchy newspapers. Fowler had recently been working on a cattle ranch in British Columbia, and Chynna Deese planned to spend several weeks with him exploring his new home.
“They were deeply in love,” British Deese said. “They met traveling and that’s just what they did — travel."
Canadian investigators said the incident does not appear, at this time, to be linked to other cases.
"At this point, we have nothing to indicate that their deaths are linked to any other active and ongoing investigations in the area, or if there is a heightened risk to public safety," Shoihet said.