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

Caroline Lafond is a Recreation Fish and Wildlife student at Selkirk College. Photo: Submitted
Ecological Comment: Help keep the goats of Gimli wild

A column written by Recreation Fish and Wildlife students at Selkirk College

Rossland council encourages everyone to support locals only recommendations. Photo: Jim Bailey.
Rossland council promotes ‘Locals Only’ inititative

Rossland mayor encourages people to restrict travel and enjoy what your home has to offer

The Selkirk Challengers at a recent class. Photo: Submitted
Two Castlegar sports groups receive provincial funding

28 sports groups across the Kootenay will be receiving money from the Local Sport Relief Fund

Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union president Andy Davidoff. Photo: Jennifer Small
An open letter to Premier Horgan and Minister Whiteside: Let’s stop harming our children during a pandemic

A letter from Andrew Davidoff, President Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Most Read