BREAKING UPDATE: The two Vancouver Island men, formerly reported missing, are now suspects the three homicides being investigated in northern B.C. Read more here.
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The RCMP was right to acknowledge the possibility of a link between three recent deaths and the disappearances of two men in northern B.C., say two retired police chiefs, pointing to concerns about public safety.
Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler were found dead by the side of the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs last week. Both had been shot. At a press conference on July 22, investigators acknowledged a possible link between the homicides and the case of missing men Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, whose camper was found burned near Dease Lake shortly after. The body of an unidentified man was found nearby.
While some no doubt think it’s speculative or alarmist to explore the possibility that this could be a serial killer, retired West Vancouver Police Chief Kash Heed says given the information available, it’s a reasonable theory to pursue.
“Someone that’s responsible for these crimes, or a group of people that are responsible for this particular crime – they’re still out there,” Heed says, and people must be made aware of the danger.
“The public safety concern trumps any other concerns out there, even from an investigative point of view,” he says. “And working off the fact that we don’t have someone in custody.”
That’s a view backed by retired Delta Police Chief Jim Cessford.
“It’s too much of a coincidence, in my mind at least, that all of these things are happening during a very short period of time,” he says. “And I think it’s really important to alert the community, to let people know, there may be some danger that does exist in that area.”
Cessford says given the nature and timing of these deaths and disappearances, investigators must explore a possible link.