A MYSTERY bearded man was spotted arguing with the young backpacking couple who were murdered on a Canadian highway this week.
Chynna Deese, 24, and Lucas Fowler were discovered on the remote Alaska Highway on Monday, sparking a widespread manhunt.
Chynna and Lucas were last seen by the side of their broken down blue minivan about 15 miles south of Liard Hot Springs on Sunday afternoon.
Their bodies were discovered at 7am the next day – but cops haven't yet confirmed local media reports they were shot to death.
Now a witness has come forward to reveal she saw a bearded man in a heated argument with the pair.
She told Channel 9 News his vehicle was parked down the road, near where Chynna and Lucas had broken down.
This news comes as a third body was found on the same highway, near a burnt out car.
Now there are fears that a serial killer could strike again, and has a three-day head start ahead of cops.
But while authorities are “looking at all of the leads”, they are not linking the death to the mysterious shooting murders of the couple.
ANOTHER BODY FOUND
The body of a man was found on Friday near a burning pick-up truck south of the Stikine River Bridge on Highway 37 in northern British Columbia.
Lucas, 23, from Sydney, and Chynna, 24, from North Carolina, were found dead on Monday about 750km away on the side of the Alaska Highway after their blue 1986 Chevrolet van broke down.
Chynna had recently graduated from Appalachian State University and was travelling the world with Aussie national Lucas, who was working on a ranch in Canada before embarking on the trip.
Speaking to The Charlotte Observer, Ms Deese’s father Dwayne Deese said: “I don’t think it’s a serial killer. I think of someone who has been convicted of violent crimes before, someone on drugs. That fits the profile better.
“What worries us is that person is still on the loose and they have a head start. This is going to happen again. There needs to be some kind of a warning system in place for tourists.”
The discovery of the third body on Friday came after police responded to a report of a pick-up truck on fire south of the Stikine River Bridge.
The car was empty but but when officers were told by a passing driver they had seen what appeared to be a body in a lay-by.
There they found the dead body of a man.
'BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL SOULS'
It took police three days to identify the couple due to the horrific nature of their injuries, reports claim.
Local authorities have promised to investigate every lead with more than 30 detectives already on the case.
Chynna's devastated older brother paid tribute on Facebook, saying: "24 hours ago I found out why my little sister didn't text me back. Chynna and Lucas' lives were abruptly taken from a random act of violence while starting their road trip through Canada."
Her sister also released an emotional statement saying she had been left "heartbroken" by their deaths and described the couple as "bright and beautiful souls"
Lucas' family, from Sydney, released a statement saying: "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 also lost her life in this violent event is too cruel."
HIGHWAY OF TEARS
The 450-mile stretch is north of the road chillingly dubbed the Highway of Tears – with up to 50 women vanishing or being murdered there since 1970.
Terrified locals now believed a serial killer is on the loose – after three women died or disappeared in 2018.
The remote stretch of roadwas given the grisly nickname after a string of women were discovered in shallow graves or simply vanished without a trace.
Signs along the Highway 16, between Prince George and Prince Rupert, warn of a serial killer on the loose – cautioning girls not to hitchhike.
But many of the missing belong to remote indigenous communities, who are forced to hitchhike as they have little or no transport or phone coverage.
A shocking 2014 report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police identified 1,049 murdered and 172 missing aboriginal women dating back to 1980.
The first killing was in 1969 when the body of 26-year-old Gloria Moody was found after she failed to return home from a bar.
Six years later, Monica Igna, 15, was found in a gravel pit, and in 1988 Alberta Williams turned up dead one month after being reported missing.
In 1994, the bodies of three indigenous teenagers were found dumped by the roadside.
Just last year, three women were murdered or went missing while on the road in British Columbia.
Chantelle Catherine Simpson, 34, was last seen in Terrace on July 4 before her abandoned car was found the following day.
Two weeks later, her body was discovered in Skeena River but a cause of death was not revealed to the public.
Jessica Patrick, 18, then vanished just three weeks later after last being seen at a McDonald's along the highway. Her remains were found down a steep embankment on September 15.
On December 23, 50-year-old Cynthia Martin disappeared from nearby Hazelton and has not been seen since.
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