‘I just want to know why.’ Mom of Charlotte woman murdered in Canada searches for answers

Updated: Jul. 20, 2019 at 7:03 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The deaths of Charlotte resident Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, have now garnered international attention.

The bodies of the two lovers were found early Monday morning along a highway in rural British Columbia. Deese and Fowler were both shot, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Just 48 hours after learning of her daughter’s death, Sheila Deese spoke to WBTV in a phone interview Friday night. She described her daughter in vivid detail, painting the portrait of a young woman who was just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.

“She loved sunflowers, volunteering, traveling, people, animals. She just loved on everybody,” said Sheila Deese.

The grieving mother said she didn’t learn her daughter had died until late Wednesday night. She said it was after 11 p.m. when she received a knock at the door from police officers.

“They directed me to the couch and said, ‘you need to sit down’ and I said, ‘is something wrong?’ and he said ‘yes, your daughter Chynna is deceased in Canada’, and I said ‘no, no’, and he said ‘yes ma’am and we don’t have any details, but here’s a phone number to contact the Royal Canadian Police,’” described Deese.

The mother said she spoke with investigators in Canada and confirmed that both her daughter and Fowler had been killed. She said she hasn’t received many details about her daughter’s death, other than being told Chynna was shot.

“I just want to know why,” said Sheila Deese. “You know, what was the purpose of it?”

In a press conference Friday evening, a representative from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police asked that anyone who had seen the two victims in the hours prior to their deaths come forward to speak with investigators.

The police displayed photos of Chynna, Fowler, and the van that was found near their bodies.

“We are particularly interested in speaking with anybody who may have dashcam video or may have information about the Chevrolet van or may have seen either Chynna or Lucas,” said Sgt. Janelle Shoihet with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Sheila Deese explained that her daughter has traveled to several countries all over the world so not seeing her for extended periods of time is normal. Now, she is coming to grips with the fact that her daughter won’t be returning home alive.

“She always came home at some point and it just doesn’t seem real because in my mind I’m hoping she’s gonna come home,” said Deese.

Deese said her family had grown close with Fowler and she considered him family. She said she wants to share Chynna’s story to honor her memory.

“I don’t want her to be remembered as this beautiful, tragic, young traveler that died,” said Deese.

She hopes the media attention her daughter’s story is getting will lead to people coming forward who may have seen Chynna or Fowler shortly before they died.

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