Trucker makes memorial for murdered couple on Alaska Highway

A Whitehorse truck driver has set up a memorial on the Alaska Highway where Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese were found dead.

Whitehorse man wants families to know Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese won't be forgotten

Ed Grennan placed a floral cross and an American and Australian flag on the Alaska Highway. The memorial is in the location where Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler were found dead. (Submitted by Ed Grennan )

Truckers are paying tribute to the young couple that was murdered this summer on a lonely stretch of the Alaska Highway in northern B.C.

Whitehorse trucker, Ed Grennan, transports goods between Fort Nelson, B.C., and Whitehorse twice a week. 

He said something needed to be done to remember Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese. 

Grennan said he passed by the location where the young couple died when RCMP was still on the scene. After the investigation, he said all that was left was a small amount of red spray paint on the highway. 

Grennan said every time he drives that stretch of highway, it really bothers him.

"I thought, 'What can we do? Any little thing helps right?'"

So he created a memorial. Grennan placed an Australian flag to remember Fowler, an American flag for Deese, and a floral cross where the couple was found.

It bothers everybody so bad.​- Ed Grennan, Trucker

On July 15, the bodies of Fowler, 23, and Deese, 24, had been found on the side of the road, 20 kilometres south of Liard Hot Springs, B.C.

That launched a nationwide manhunt for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky. RCMP said they were suspects in the couple's death and in the death of Leonard Dyck, a botanist killed in northern B.C.

On Monday, police confirmed two bodies found in northern Manitoba were those of the two suspects. 

Truckers pay tribute with this memorial for Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler. The couple was murdered and their bodies found on the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs in B.C. (Ed Grennan)

Grennan said he has an understanding of what their parents must be going through.

"I lost a kid myself and I know. Everybody says they know, but I know," said Grennan. "The family that must be going through torture right now ... A lot of families are hurting." 

He said the memorial isn't just from him; it's from all truckers who drive the Alaska Highway.

"It bothers everybody so bad. One fella told me yesterday that when he went by and saw the [floral cross and flags], he broke down ... and cried," Grennan said.

Now when Grennan drives by that location, he said a prayer and feels like the couple won't be forgotten.

He wants the families to know the Alaska Highway truckers are thinking of them.

About the Author

Mike Rudyk

Reporter, CBC Yukon

Mike Rudyk has worked for CBC Yukon since 1999, as a reporter and videographer. He lives in Whitehorse.


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