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Final video could reveal motive for Canada highway murders

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 20/08/2019 9News Staff

a man smiling for the camera: Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, were found dead in bushland. © 60 Minutes Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, were found dead in bushland. The two teenagers suspected of shooting dead Australian tourist Lucas Fowler and his US girlfriend Chynna Deese on a Canadian highway rampage left a "last will and testament" video message.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 19, recorded the video message on their mobile phones before taking their own lives in remote bushland in northern Manitoba, the Toronto Star reports.

About 30 seconds of the video was shared with family members of the former fugitives.

a person posing for the camera: Schmegelsky and McLeod were wanted over the deaths of three people, including Australian man Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend, Chynna Deese. © 60 Minutes Schmegelsky and McLeod were wanted over the deaths of three people, including Australian man Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend, Chynna Deese.

McLeod and Schmegelsky said goodbye to their families in the video and described their wishes for their remains, according to a family member interviewed by the Star.

The video could be the key to explaining why the two teenagers, who weeks before were working at Walmart, would suddenly become killers.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are reportedly in possession of the full video recording.

McLeod and Schmegelsky, from Vancouver Island, were found dead in bushland near Gillam, Manitoba, on August 7.

a person walking with a dog: The manhunt led police across vast expanses of Canada. © 9News/Alexis Daish The manhunt led police across vast expanses of Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced on August 12 that autopsies pointed to the teenagers taking their own lives.

Two guns were found with the bodies and are undergoing forensic analysis to determine if they are the weapons used to shoot Mr Fowler, 23, from Sydney, and Ms Deese, 24, from North Carolina dead on the side of a British Columbia highway on July 15.

a person standing in front of a bus: Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler were murdered soon after this CCTV showed them embracing at a petrol station. © Supplied Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler were murdered soon after this CCTV showed them embracing at a petrol station.

The couple's Chevrolet van had broken down, leaving them stranded in an area with minimal mobile reception.

McLeod and Schmegelsky are also suspected of killing 64-year-old university botany lecturer Leonard Dyck four days later on another BC highway.

The teenagers drove Mr Dyck's Toyota RAV4 3000km east to Gillam, sparking a massive manhunt that eventually led to their bodies.

AUSSIE WAS LIVING THE DREAM BEFORE HIS MURDER

a man and a woman smiling for the camera: Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese met in Croatia and were travelling through Canada on a road trip. © Supplied Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese met in Croatia and were travelling through Canada on a road trip.

Lucas Fowler was in love, travelling the world and making the most of life before he was brutally murdered alongside his American girlfriend in Canada, according to his parents.

His father - NSW Police chief inspector Stephen Fowler - told a memorial service for his son in Sydney on August 2 that he lived a life many envied.

"He didn't just dream of travelling, he worked and saved and made it happen," Insp. Fowler told the hundreds gathered at Turramurra Uniting Church.

Lucas met Ms Deese in Croatia two years ago and Insp. Fowler said the two were "full of happiness".

"We are so happy that Lucas and Chynna found each other and had such a great time travelling together, meeting new friends and just milking every last drop of fun out of life," Insp. Fowler said.

"They laughed and loved, and touched the hearts of everyone they met."

'I DIDN'T MEET THAT MONSTER'

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Schmegelsky's father Alan said the death of his son was "heartbreaking" despite the disturbing crimes he is accused of committing in his final weeks.

"You may think he's a monster but he's my son, he's my Bryer," an emotional Mr Schmegelsky told reporter Sarah Abo.

"I didn't meet that monster… that's not who I know."

a man smiling for the camera: Alan Schmegelsky says he won't believe his son is a murderer without evidence. © 60 Minutes Alan Schmegelsky says he won't believe his son is a murderer without evidence.

60 Minutes cameras were there in the moments after he received word his son's body had been found.

"He was my only child. (I'll) never get to hug him again, never get to spend time with him again," Mr Schmegelsky said.

"At least I know where he is, his troubles are over, I'm sad that he felt he had to take that road trip."

Despite the evidence against his son, Schmegelsky is struggling to come to terms with the fact Bryer died as one of the most wanted men in Canada.

But he still wants more proof before he'll truly believe his son is a killer.

"We'll never know the answer. Everyone's so quick to judge… he might be a victim in all of this for all we know," he told Abo.

"I'm not going to say my son is a murderer until I get some facts."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

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