Sketch released in killings

UPDATE: 3:40 p.m.

Mounties have released a new sketch of a man as they investigate the killings of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese on the Alaska Highway last week.

Police released the sketch of the man Monday afternoon, calling him a person of interest to their investigation. The man was seen speaking with Fowler on the evening of Sunday, July 14, police said. Police are asking for help identifying the man.

"This man may not be aware that investigators are interested in speaking to him," Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said.

The man may be associated with an older model Jeep Cherokee with a black stripe on its hood, similar to a racing stripe. It’s believed he was travelling southbound. The man is described as Caucasian, with darker skin and dark hair. He stood slightly smaller than Fowler, who was six-foot-three.

According to one witness, a bearded man was seen in a confrontation with Fowler and Deese the evening of July 14. The man was reportedly standing in the middle of the road, staring at them with his arms open. The couple looked bothered, the witness said.

They were later found shot to death outside their van just south of Liard Hot Springs around 7 a.m. on July 15. Officials said Monday they are advancing their investigation to the best of their abilities. They will be releasing video footage of the couple from a gas station in Fort Nelson on Saturday, July 13, around 7:30 p.m.

Witnesses say the couple's van had broken down.

"Investigators are working through a number of tips and tasks, including interviews 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 needs."

– Alaska Highway News

ORIGINAL: 2:30 p.m.

RCMP are asking the public to take safety precautions and "remain vigilant" as the force investigates two apparently unconnected cases in northern British Columbia involving a deceased male and a couple believed to be the victims of a double homicide.

Mounties say in a release they acknowledge growing concerns after a body was found Friday near the community of Dease Lake and the discovery four days earlier of the bodies of a man and woman on the side of the Alaska Highway, about 470 kilometres away.

Police have asked anyone who may have seen 23-year-old Australian Lucas Fowler and his 24-year-old girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, N.C., to contact them.

RCMP have not yet released the identity of the male who was found dead days later after officers responded to a vehicle fire south of the Stikine River Bridge on Highway 37.

The force is asking for the public's help in locating two men connected with the burned-out red and grey Dodge pickup truck with a sleeping camper found about two kilometres from the man's body.

Police say 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, from the Vancouver Island community of Port Alberni, were driving the vehicle found on fire and that the body discovered wasn't that of either missing teen.

"At this time, investigators are sharing information and police would like to ensure awareness around both investigations," RCMP said in the news release.

"We also remind travellers to share your plans with family and friends, establish check-in times and notify someone if your plans change."

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