B.C. homicide victim’s brother says he may never know why she was killed

Stetson Deese the family is preparing for the possibility they’ll be left in the dark on motive

Siblings Stetson Deese, (left to right) Chynna Deese, Kennedy Deese and British Deese. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Stetson Deese)

The eldest brother of homicide victim Chynna Deese says he’s not expecting the police investigation to provide a definitive answer as to why she was killed in such a seemingly random act.

The RCMP has promised to release details in the coming weeks of its investigative conclusions in the case that sparked a manhunt across Western Canada before two young suspects were found dead last week in Manitoba.

The Mounties have already said they believe Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod were suspects in the deaths of Deese and her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler, and had also charged the teenagers from Port Alberni with second-degree murder in the death of UBC botany lecturer Leonard Dyck.

Stetson Deese, 30, said while more details may offer his family some clarity, they’re preparing for the possibility that they’ll be left with untestable theories about motive.

“We just don’t know why, and we may never know exactly why they were targeted,” he said in a phone interview from just outside New Orleans.

Chynna, 24, was the youngest of four siblings growing up in Charlotte, N.C. Although they had the largest age gap of more than five years among the siblings, Stetson said he shared his sister’s common curiosity for the world.

RELATED: Chynna Deese, victim in northern B.C. homicide, remembered as ‘beautiful, free soul’

He was the first “adventurous one” in the family, rotating between seasonal jobs in national parks across the United States and fisheries in Alaska. But his sister had recently surpassed him, exploring Europe and South America before coming to Canada with Fowler.

“She took it to a whole new level, so she was a little more adventurous than me,” he said.

Mounties have maintained regular contact with the Deese family since Chynna’s death, Stetson said, but the family primarily knows the same thing the public does about what happened.

Stetson often finds himself combing through posts online, reading theories unverified by police about what role accomplices may have played or whether other missing persons cases in the region could be linked. Chynna and Fowler were so affable that Stetson said he can’t possibly imagine they were targets of anger or hatred.

READ MORE: Northern B.C. homicide victim’s sister accuses fugitive’s dad of failing to take responsibility

“We still have a lot of questions, it’s like I think of a new one each day.”

His latest question is whether the van the couple were driving was found in working condition. He also heard that his sister was wearing a single shoe and speculated that perhaps that meant she was attacked at night.

The family isn’t in a rush to see the RCMP probe wrap up, he said. They all had to return to their jobs and could use a break, as they try to find moments of distraction.

ALSO READ: Motive will be ‘extremely difficult’ to determine in northern B.C. deaths, RCMP say

“It’s been heavy lately, this whole month the air has been really heavy. So, if it lightens up a little that would be nice and then maybe within another month or so we can hear something else.”

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

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