CANADA (CNN) — A young American woman and her Australian boyfriend had set out to explore British Columbia when they were found dead on a remote Canadian highway.Chynna Noella Deese, 24, and Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23, were found Monday (July 15) 12 miles south of Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada, Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement July, 19th.
Both deaths appear “suspicious,” but the investigation is still “in its very infancy,” Shoihet said.
A 1986 blue Chevrolet van with Alberta plates was found at the scene, she said.
Police are trying to determine if the couple were driving the vehicle and are asking for information from anyone who may have seen the van or driven by it.
Fowler had been living in British Columbia and Deese was visiting him as they explored the area, Shoihet said.
Chynna Deese’s mother, Sheila Deese, told CNN affiliate WSOC the two were going to travel in a van through Canada to visit all the national parks.
“They had mapped out their route,” she told the affiliate. “And to my understanding the van broke down and that’s where the tragedy happened.”
The double homicide occurred sometime between Sunday evening and early Monday morning, police said.
It’s not clear if the killings were targeted or if this was a crime of opportunity.
“At this point, we have nothing to indicate their deaths were linked to any other active and ongoing investigations in the area, or if there is a heightened risk to public safety,” Shoihet said in a statement.
The U.S. State Department also said it was willing to assist with the case.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” a department official said. “We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
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