A mysterious bearded man was seen arguing with the American woman and her Australian boyfriend who were murdered on a Canadian highway last week, according to a witness.
A widespread manhunt was launched after the murder of 24-year-old Chynna Deese and 23-year-old Lucas Fowler, whose bodies were discovered on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia on July 15, reported the Daily Mail.
The pair, who had just begun a road trip in Canada, were last seen on the afternoon of July 14 beside their blue Chevrolet minivan which had reportedly broken down.
They were found shot dead around 12.5 miles south of Liard Hot Springs at around 7 a.m. the following day, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in an official release. Their deaths are considered homicides.
Now a witness, Alandra Hull, told Australia’s 9News she spotted a “frustrated” mystery bearded man in a heated exchange with Deese and Fowler, while she passed the couple’s van along the Canadian highway.
Hull, a road worker, told the outlet the man looked agitated and made gestures at the pair as they stood in the middle of the highway.
“He kind of looked frustrated or something,” she recalled. “If you just get a bad feeling, and that’s what I had, you just don’t stop.”
She added that police asked her to help them sketch out the bearded man as they work to locate the suspect, reported CTV News, although this has not been confirmed.
Another road worker, Trevor Pierre, described to 9News the moment he discovered the bodies of the couple, adding that the back right window of their van was smashed, and the vehicle had its right doors open.
“In the ditch was the lady first, the young lady, and maybe five meters behind was the gentleman,” he said.
Pierre added that the couple were both lying in “identical positions” on the ground. “He had no shoes. The young lady had one.”
The news comes as a third body was discovered along the same highway, and there are fears it may be difficult to locate the attacker because of the three-day head start on police.
“What worries us is that person is still on the loose and they have a head start. This is going to happen again. There needs to be some kind of a warning system in place for tourists,” the 24-year-old’s father, Dwayne Deese said in an interview with The Charlotte Observer.
Deese’s brother, British, took to Facebook, describing the day he found out about the pair’s death as “the most chaotic day of my life.”
“My little sister left to visit her boyfriend Lucas for the ‘branding of the cows’ at a ranch he worked at in Canada and to travel through the top half of the globe,” he wrote on July 19.
“24 hrs ago I found out why my little sis didn’t text me back. Chynna and Lucas’ lives were abruptly taken from a random act of violence while starting their road trip through Canada.”
He described his sister as “so deeply woven as a piece of my childhood and everyday life,” after hearing the tragic news.
“I am forever indebted to her for being such an amazing life companion and giving me SO many reasons to smile,” he added.
“Life throws curveballs and you made every one easier to handle. This is a curveball I did not expect.
“Losing you is going to hurt so much.”
Fowler was the son of a senior New South Wales Police officer, according to a statement by his father’s police department.
The Fowler family said they are traveling to Canada to bring their son home. They offered their condolences to Deese’s family.
“To know his beautiful girlfriend, Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina also lost her life in this violent event is too cruel. All our love and best wishes go to Chynna’s family and friends,” said the Fowlers.
The investigation is ongoing and the Canadian Police have asked the public for any information they may have about the case.
“Police would like to speak to anyone that may have traveled this stretch of highway between Sunday, July 14, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. and Monday, July 15, 2019, at 8:00 a.m. Police would especially like to speak with anyone who may have a dashcam video while traveling that area,” said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Anyone with any information can contact the Northern Rockies RCMP at 250 774-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477.
Epoch Times reporter Venus Upadhayaya contributed to this report.