Update: In a twist on the investigation, Canadian police now consider two missing teenagers as the suspects in the murders of American Chynna Deese and her boyfriend, Australian Lucas Fowler. The two teenagers are Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18.
A sketch of a person of interest in a double murder was released by Canadian authorities, who said the man seen in the sketch might not know police want to speak with him.
The sketch, released on July 22, shows a man witnesses said they saw Lucas Fowler and his girlfriend Chynna Deese speaking to on the Alaska Highway on July 14.
“This man may not be aware that investigators are interested in speaking to him,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said at a press conference, reported the Alaska Highway News.
Investigators said the man may have been traveling in a Jeep Cherokee described as having a black stripe on its hood and small covered lights.
He was described as Caucasian with darker skin and dark hair, possibly with a beard or glasses and standing around 6 feet 2 inches.
“Investigators are working through a number of tips and tasks, including speaking with individuals who saw or spoke with the couple, analyzing forensic and digital evidence along with reviewing hours of CCTV and dashcam video footage,” Shoihet said. “The number and types of specialized services and investigators continues to fluctuate based on investigative need.”
In a statement, police added: “Police are once again appealing to the public to come forward and speak with investigators about any interactions, conversations, or observations involving Lucas and Chynna, or their travels in the blue van. We have seen many accounts on social and mainstream media from people who have information relating to Chynna and Lucas. It is imperative that before you give details to anyone else that you contact our investigators to provide the first account.”
Police also released surveillance videos showing Fowler and Deese at a gas station in Fort Nelson on July 13.
Anyone with information should contact the Northern Rockies RCMP at 250-774-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
At the press conference, investigators also said the disappearance of two teenagers near where the couple was found dead could be connected.
“We certainly are open to those possibilities. And our investigators are speaking to each other, sharing information and certainly looking at the possibility that they may be linked,” Shoihet said, reported Global News.
“Understandably it’s unusual to have two major investigations undergoing of this nature in northern B.C. at the same time.”
A second sketch was released by the police and showed a man they said was found dead about 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) from the pickup truck the teens were traveling in was found on fire on July 19. The truck was found about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Dease Lake on Highway 37.
Police aren’t sure yet how the man died and did not say he was the victim of a crime. Police also declined to answer a question about the murders of Deese and Fowler, saying the situation was still being probed.
Officials warned people traveling in the area, saying they should camp in established areas and maintain “heightened vigilance.”
Travelers should create schedules that include times they check in with loved ones and stick to the schedules, officials advised.