CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Two teenagers reported missing are now suspects in the killings of Charlotte resident Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, in Canada, Canadian officials said Tuesday.
The couple’s bodies were found early in the morning hours of July 15 along a highway in rural British Columbia. Deese and Fowler were both shot, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmedgelsky are suspects in the killing of Deese, Fowler and a third person, Canadian officials announced Tuesday.
CBC News in Canada reports McLeod is 19 and Schmedgelsky is 18.
Officials released a new video of the suspects Friday.
The third person’s body was found near Dease Lake. CBC News reports the third person was a man in his 50s or 60s and that his body was found two kilometers south of McLeod and Schmedgelsky’s burnt-out truck. That area was more than 470 kilometers away from the first crime scene, according to CBC News.
Canadian police warned anyone who may come into contact with McLeod or Schmedgelsky: “If seen, take no action – do not approach. Call 911 immediately.”
The teens may have changed their appearance and may be driving a different vehicle.
“Yesterday they were missing and now we’ve changed them to suspects," Canadian officials said Tuesday.
During a press conference one week after the bodies were found, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police released a sketch of a man they say is wanted for questioning. Officials did not call the man a suspect, but did say they were looking to identify and speak with him about the case.
Investigators also released two surveillance videos that show Deese and Fowler, with the blue van they were travelling in, during a stop at a gas station before they were killed.
In a press conference Friday evening, a representative from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police asked that anyone who had seen the two victims in the hours prior to their deaths come forward to speak with investigators.
The police displayed photos of Chynna, Fowler, and the van that was found near their bodies.
“We are particularly interested in speaking with anybody who may have dashcam video or may have information about the Chevrolet van or may have seen either Chynna or Lucas,” said Sgt. Janelle Shoihet with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Just 48 hours after learning of her daughter’s death, Sheila Deese spoke to WBTV in a phone interview. She described her daughter in vivid detail, painting the portrait of a young woman who was just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.
The grieving mother said she didn’t learn her daughter had died until late Wednesday night. She said it was after 11 p.m. when she received a knock at the door from police officers.
“They directed me to the couch and said, ‘you need to sit down’ and I said, ‘is something wrong?’ and he said ‘yes, your daughter Chynna is deceased in Canada’, and I said ‘no, no’, and he said ‘yes ma’am and we don’t have any details, but here’s a phone number to contact the Royal Canadian Police,’” described Deese.
The mother said she spoke with investigators in Canada and confirmed that both her daughter and Fowler had been killed. She said she hasn’t received many details about her daughter’s death, other than being told Chynna was shot.
“I just want to know why,” said Sheila Deese. “You know, what was the purpose of it?”
She hopes the media attention her daughter’s story is getting will lead to people coming forward who may have seen Chynna or Fowler shortly before they died.
Anyone with information about on McLeod or Schmedgelsky’s whereabouts is asked to contact 911 immediately.