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

A new public space build on a sediment deposit in the Sicamous Narrows is a possible part of a flood mitigation barrier outlined in a recent report given to Sicamous’ council. (Kerr Wood Leidal Image)
Sicamous flood protection plan, public walkway come with hefty price tag

New barrier against higher seasonal lake levels called a proactive approach by mayor

Movie crews filmed a holiday parade in Summerland in July. The parade, filmed on Main Street in Summerland, is for the movie, The Christmas Yule Blog. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

The Armstrong Green Space Society is calling for the preservation of the Royal York Golf Course, which may be in jeopardy pending an application to use the land for a major housing development. (File photo)
Armstrong group calls on council to spare local golf course from housing development

The Armstrong Green Space Society was formed in 2019 after word of the development surfaced

Vicki Proulx, executive director of the Vernon Winter Carnival Society, stands beneath a lights display the society lit up in Spirit Square Nov. 27, by way of announcing it will be taking over the 2021 downtown light-up event. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon Winter Carnival Society lights up downtown square

The society announced it will be taking over next year’s downtown light-up event

Parents are urged to be on alert after a potential child abduction attempt took place near Armstrong Elementary School Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (amsas/neden photo)
Possible child abduction attempt at Armstrong Elementary School prompts warning

A letter from the school’s principal urges parents to be on high alert

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP issue warning after woman assaulted while walking in Kelowna

On Saturday, the unknown man ran up and grabbed her in an inappropriate manner before fleeing

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A West Cabs driver is being investigated for an incident which allegedly took place this week. (West Cabs)
West Kelowna cab driver under investigation after altercation over his lack of mask

Passenger alleges cab driver became confrontational when asked about wearing mask

Supt. Brian Hunter will be presenting first quarter RCMP stats to Penticton city council, tomorrow (April 21). (Phil McLachlan - Western News - File)
South Okanagan RCMP superintendent wants to set up dedicated prolific offender task force

Supt. Brian Hunter plans to use the additional officers city council approved for the force

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

(Pixabay)
‘We need to be empathetic’; Kelowna support worker speaks out after disabled individual denied haircut

Individual with severe autism denied service at a Kelowna hair salon for not wearing mask

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COLUMN: Anti-maskers’ message misses the mark

Following COVID-19 restrictions now could determine just how happy our holidays are

Most Read