Memorial along the Alaska Highway for murdered tourist couple Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler on Oct. 4, 2019. (John Van Vyfeyken/Facebook)

Memorial along the Alaska Highway for murdered tourist couple Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler on Oct. 4, 2019. (John Van Vyfeyken/Facebook)

VIDEO: Truckers create memorial for murdered tourists along Alaska Highway

Man behind initial memorial hopes fellow truck drivers will help keep memorial vibrant, clean

Along a rural stretch of the Alaska Highway, just south of Liard Hot Springs, a large memorial has been erected to ensure that the shortened lives of a young tourist couple are never forgotten.

It’s been nearly three months since Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler were found murdered near the highway, in what quickly became one of the most high-profile police investigations in Canada’s recent history.

DOUGHNUT PACKS, MYSTERIOUS GUN: Six facts about B.C.’s triple homicide, manhunt

Their killers, Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod of Port Alberni, went on to claim the life of another victim – Leonard Dyck of Vancouver – before fleeing to Manitoba and dying by suicide, all within a three-week span.

The senseless acts sparked international attention, in part due to the randomness in the killings but also because the victim’s families were from far and wide; Deese was originally from North Carolina and Fowler from Australia.

But for many truck drivers who drive these roads regularly, the incomprehensible killings couldn’t help but strike close to home.

WATCH: Fugitives confessed to all three B.C. murders, planned to flee to Europe or Africa

In August, Whitehorse trucker Ed Grennan began the memorial for the young couple, made up of a flower cross, a small U.S. flag and a larger Australian flag perched between two piles of rocks. Since then, the spot has grown to include dozens more flowers, a larger U.S. flag and a poster with pictures of Deese and Fowler with the words “Together Forever.”

Earlier this week, Grennan was spotted there again, along with fellow truck driver John Van Vyfeyken, hoisting up a small shelter to protect the memorial from wintry conditions as well as two handmade wooden crosses that will surely withstand the elements.

ALSO READ: A look at the three murder victims found in northern B.C.

“The memorial is a place to keep the memory of this couple alive and to help all those impacted by this tragic event find some solice [sic] and peace knowing that we are all keeping the lost and thier [sic] families in our thoughts and prayers,” Van Vyfeyken wrote on Facebook.

On Wednesday, passerby Craig Humphries captured the two men finalizing the two crosses in a video.

“These families are so far away, I couldn’t tell how much they appreciate us doing this,” Grennan said, adding that he hopes fellow truckers who stop by the memorial can help maintain the site.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Manitoba Manhunt

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

Just Posted

Construction is expected to start in March of 2021 on 23 new rental homes funded by the provincial government’s Community Housing Fund. (Metro Creative photo)
Province announces rental home project in Chilliwack paid for by Community Housing Fund

Twenty three homes for Indigenous families are planned in partnership with Tzeachten First Nation

Canadian Red Cross staff engaged in a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing training exercise. (Luc Alary / Canadian Red Cross)
Red Cross canvassers following PHO guidelines while going door-to-door

Canvassers using safety protocols including masks and distancing to continue organization’s efforts

Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl, pictured here in 2017, has harsh words about the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl says Liberal government is leaving millions of Canadians behind

Strahl delivered a blistering critique of the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement

Phyllis Stenson, a mainstay of the local arts scene and the Harrison Festival of the Arts, passed away earlier this month. Stenson was crucial in setting up the foundation for relationships, funding and more that continue even now to echo well past her retirement in 2013. (Contributed Photo/Harrison Festival Society)
Harrison Festival, Fraser Valley arts icon Phyllis Stenson mourned

Stenson passed away in late November, leaving lasting legacy of passion for the arts behind

Elkhart Gas Station, located on Highway 97C about 60 kilometres west of Peachland, opened in November 2020. (Google maps)
The Okanagan Connector now has a gas station

The highway previously ran for over 117 kilometres without a place to fuel up

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Most Read