Chilling new details have been released about an Australian man's grisly murder after he was found dead with his girlfriend on the side of a Canadian highway.
Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese, 24, were driving to a cattle ranch in British Columbia, in the country's west, when their car reportedly broke down on the side of the Alaska Highway.
Their bodies were found on the side of the road on Monday where there had been a spate of deaths in the same area in recent years.
On Friday it had been suggested that a serial killer might be responsible but police refuted these claims on Saturday, revealing that the bloody murders were 'unique'
Injuries inflicted on the couple were so 'brutal' that Ms Deese's heartbroken brother, British Deese said an open casket would not be allowed at her funeral.
Mr Fowler's father Stephen, the chief inspector for Sydney's north-west Hills district, and other family members have embarked on the long flight to Canada 'to be with our boy and to bring him home'.
'To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was travelling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating,' the Fowlers said in a statement.
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Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese (centre) are pictured with Ms Deese's mother (right) and brother (left). The couple were road-tripping through Canada when their bodies were found on Monday
The couple are understood to have been shot and Canadian police have launched an investigation into the suspected murders
The bodies were found about 20km south of Liard Hot Springs, and an old blue mini-van was found at the scene
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are leading the hunt for the killer.
North District Rocky Mountain Police Sergeant Janelle Shoihet said police were called to the area of the Alaskan Highway at 7am local time.
The bodies were found about 20km south of Liard Hot Springs, and an old blue mini-van was found at the scene.
Local police appealed for anyone who had seen the pair's dark blue van to contact them.
'We are particularly interested in speaking with anyone who may have dashcam video,' Sgt Shoihet said.
'At this point we have nothing to indicate that their deaths are connected to any other deaths.'
Police added that a 'vehicle, an older blue minivan with Alberta plates, was found at the scene and police would like to speak with anyone who may have seen the vehicle or rendered assistance.'
They are asking anyone who travelled the stretch of highway between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning before 8am to make contact as locals said they saw the couple broken-down on the side of the road.
The bodies were found about 20km south of Liard Hot Springs, and an old blue mini-van was found at the scene (pictured)
North District Rocky Mountain Police Sergeant Janelle Shoihet (pictured) said police were called to the area of the Alaskan Highway at 7am local time
The last people to speak to Mr Fowler and Ms Deese appears to be Sandra and Curtis Broughton, a Canadian couple who said they were driving past, saw the broken down blue van and stopped to help.
'We seen the blue van broke down on our journey home on Sunday and we stopped and asked if they needed help,' Ms Broughton wrote on Facebook.
'I can't believe that this young couple are dead now. This makes my heart so sad.'
Mr and Mrs Broughton stopped to help the couple with their van about 3.30pm on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph reported.
'We were coming home, because my husband is a mechanic and it is so remote up there, his natural instinct when someone is broken down is to pull over and help, Ms Broughton said.
They saw the van was pulled over with the hood up, but the young couple were sitting on the grass nearby having a picnic.
Ms Broughton said they didn't seem distressed or in danger, despite having a flooded engine.
'They were waiting for the engine to drain before trying again. There was nothing we could do,' she said.
The couple seemed pleasant and happy, and told Mrs Broughton they were heading north - more than three hours away from a major town.
'Fort Nelson is an area where it is all wilderness. There are more trees around than people,' she said.
The last people to speak to Mr Fowler and Ms Deese appears to be Sandra and Curtis Broughton (pictured), a Canadian couple who said they were driving past, saw the broken down blue van and stopped to help
Ms Deese's brother told the Charlotte Observer newspaper that his family believed there may have been 'some sort of conflict on the road'.
It appears robbery may have been the motive with the couple's identification missing.
Mr Deese said investigators eventually found his sister's passport hidden in the van.
In a heartbreaking Facebook post, he told how he knew something was wrong when his sister did not answer his texts.
He said the day he found out she was murdered was 'the most chaotic day of my life' and spent hours on the phone with the US Embassy and investigators.
'24 hrs ago I found out why my little sis didn't text me back,' he wrote on Friday.
'Chynna and Lucas' lives were abruptly taken from a random act of violence while starting their road trip through Canada.'
The North Carolina woman was a recent graduate from Appalachian State University who completed a bachelor's degree in psychology and business.
Ms Deese's brother British said he endured the 'most chaotic day' of his life in the wake of the tragedy
Ms Deese's brother British (pictured left in both pictures with sister) recalled the moment he was advised the couple met a violent end. 'Chynna and Lucas' lives were abruptly taken from a random act of violence while starting their road trip through Canada,' he wrote on Facebook
Lucas Fowler (left) and girlfriend Chynna Deese (right) of Charlotte, North Carolina, were travelling when they were killed. Ms Deese was visiting her boyfriend at a cable farm