FORT NELSON: Members of a grieving Australian family are on their way to Canada to recover the body of a young man killed in northeastern British Columbia, along with his American girlfriend.

A statement from the family of Sydney-area resident Lucas Fowler was posted on the website of the New South Wales Police Department.

It describes Fowler as a dear son, brother, grandson and friend.

“To lose someone so young and vibrant, who was travelling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating,” the statement says.

“To know his beautiful girlfriend, Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina also lost her life in this violent event is too cruel.”

RCMP in British Columbia confirmed Fowler and Deese were found dead earlier this week along the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs, south of the B.C.-Yukon boundary.

Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said no further information could be released and she could not confirm how the couple died.

Several Australian media outlets have reported Fowler is the son of New South Wales Police Chief Insp. Stephen Fowler.

“We are all now travelling to Canada to be with our boy and to bring him home,” says the family’s statement on the New South Wales police website.

A statement posted by Deese’s sibling, Kennedy, said the North Carolina family was “in shock and heartbroken.”

The Zeta Tau Alpha at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., said Deese was one of its members, and an obituary posted by her family remembers her as a “kind and adventurous soul.”

Few details of the homicides have been released by RCMP in British Columbia.

The statement from investigators said an older blue minivan with Alberta licence plates was found at the scene.

Officers want to speak with anyone who may have seen the vehicle or spoken with the couple between Sunday afternoon and 8 a.m. the next day.

They are also appealing for dash cam video from anyone who may have been travelling last weekend along the Alaska Highway, also known as Highway 97.

Further updates or a news conference were planned for later Friday, Shoihet said.

The Canadian Press