Australian man Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese have been found dead in “suspicious circumstances” by the side of a remote highway in British Columbia.

Fowler, originally from Sydney‘s north shore, had been working on a ranch in Canada, and Deese had come to visit him for the “branding of the cows” before the pair set out on a trip.

Overnight, NSW Police confirmed the young man’s identity and shared a statement from his family, saying:

“We have lost our dear Lucas Fowler, son, brother, grandson and friend in the most terrible circumstances. To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was travelling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating­. To know his beautiful girlfriend, Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina also lost her life in this violent event is too cruel. All our love and best wishes go to Chynna’s family and friends.”

Royal Canadian Mounted Police have declared the deaths to be “suspicious”, and two NSW Police homicide detectives have been sent to Canada to assist.

STATEMENT FROM FOWLER FAMILY: We have lost our dear Lucas Fowler, son, brother, grandson and friend in the most…

Posted by NSW Police Force on Friday, 19 July 2019

One eyewitness said that she and her husband drove past a couple matching their description, but did not stop as they did not appear to be in any distress. She said:

“We just saw their van on the side of the road and we saw a young couple, and the van hood was up like it had broken down and they were sitting in some lawn chairs in the ditch.”

Deese’s brother paid tribute to the young couple in a Facebook post, saying that their lives were cut short by a “random act of violence.”

After the most chaotic day of my life, family spending hours on the phone with the US Embassy and investigators.My…

Posted by British Dwayne on Thursday, 18 July 2019

Lucas Fowler was the son of NSW Police Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler, and authorities have said that they are “providing support to him and his family.”