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

Penticton Vees on four-game streak after 2-1 win against Salmon Arm Silverbacks

The Vees head to West Kelowna Tuesday, before coming home Friday to battle the Merritt Centennials.

Update: Individual successfully rescued from hills above Penticton

An individual became stranded earlier this morning.

First VegFest of the South Okanagan coming to Penticton

The festival is scheduled for Aug. 23, with speakers and entertainment all day.

Priest Camp near Summerland was created in 1845

Agreement formed between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856)

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Kelowna’s Tess Critchlow gears up for World Cup at Big White

Critchlow is a professional snowboarder competing for Team Canada in the boardercross competition

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read