Chynna Deese, 24, in a number of pictures shared by family and friends since her death on July 15, 2019. (Screenshot/Black Press Media)

Chynna Deese, victim in northern B.C. homicide, remembered as ‘beautiful, free soul’

Chynna Deese, of North Carolina, is one of three victims in a string of killings in northern B.C.

Family and friends are remembering Chynna Deese, one of three victims in the string of shocking killings in northern B.C., as a lover of travel and adventure who was taken much too soon.

Tributes to Deese, 24, of Charlotte, N.C., have been flowing into a GoFundMe account setup by a family friend a few days after since police identified her and her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, as the two victims who were shot along the Alaska Highway, 50 kilometres south of Liard Hot Springs.

READ MORE: ‘Struggling to understand’: Family, UBC pay tribute to lecturer killed in northern B.C.

“She was a daughter, sister, girlfriend and friends,” the page reads, adding that she was “a bright, welcoming and infectious soul.”

RCMP have declared Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky as suspects in the couple’s death.

The fundraising page was created to help the Deese family cover expenses for a funeral and memorial. As of Thursday morning, $8,800 had been raised. While Deese’s family has remained quiet to the public through the BC RCMP investigation, which has now stretched nationwide, friends are shedding light online to who the North Carolina woman was.

READ MORE: Northern B.C. homicides unsettle isolated Tahltan village

“My heart is truly broken for the family of Chynna and Lucas,” Michelle Allen wrote. “My heart also goes out to all the friends who held them both so dear. Chynna was such a beautiful person inside and out and made a mark on my entire family. The Moore’s were truly blessed to have met her.”

According to Lucas Fowler’s father, Stephen, the two met while travelling. He said the pair became inseparable, describing his son as a “fun-loving guy with a heart of gold,” and Deese as a “beautiful young lady” and the couple as a “great pair.”

“It’s a love story that’s ended tragically. It’s the worst ever love story,” Stephen said.

Deese and Fowler met in Croatia while both were travelling the world in 2o17.

Photos of Deese shared on the GoFundMe page show her playing pool with friends, as well as graduation photos taken at Appalachian State University and numerous others of her time travelling with Fowler. According to a Facebook post from the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, Deese was a member during her time at the state school.

“She was such a kind and adventurous soul and we have been honored to call her our sister,” the statement reads.

“She was always so friendly and kind every time I was with her,” Don Gies wrote on the fundraising page, who said he was fraternity brothers with one of Deese’s siblings, British.

McLeod and Schmegelsky remain on the run from police in connection to the killings of Deese and Fowler, as well as University of B.C. lecturer Leonard Dyck. Their last known whereabouts were a remote area of northern Manitoba, called Gillam, on Monday evening. The police’s efforts to capture the two men have captivated international attention.

The suspects have been charged with second-degree murder in Dyck’s death, but have not been charged for the deaths of Deese and Fowler as of Thursday morning.

READ MORE: Port Alberni teens charged with second degree murder, remain at large

Canadians also took to the GoFundMe page, voicing their condolences.

“My heart is broken for these families,” a person who called themselves D Webber wrote. “I am saddened that this happened in the country I live in and these young amazing people were here visiting. My deepest condolences.

“Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your beautiful daughter,” wrote Jackie P. “I am a Canadian citizen and I am so deeply saddened by what happened. God Bless you all.

A couple, named Braden and Shaelee, said they were finishing their own road trip through B.C. when they heard of Deese’s death.

“… Read of this news while we were at our last campsite. We cannot let the fear of this persons actions haunt us, but instead we will focus on the love these two shared, and the lust for life and travel that we share with them,” they wrote.

“May they rest in peace, be forever together, may your families find closure and peace, and may the suspect be taken out of the public, brought to justice and face the severe consequences. Sending all the love and positive energy your way.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

TMX liquor license request gets approval from council

Community safety common denominator among voices heard.

Vehicle roll over closes highway for over three hours

The vehicle’s occupants were taken to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops via helicopter

Trans Mountain to contribute funds for infrastructure upgrades

The company signed an agreement with the District committing $3.1 million

Seniors group recommends website to members with tech issues

The Wells Gray Country Seniors Society (WGCSS) has run a program called “Cyber Seniors” since 2015.

B.C. prepares back-to-school plan for students in COVID-19

Districts will be refining preparations up to Sept. 8

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Most Read