A COUPLE have been shot dead on a notorious road where 50 women were murdered or vanished – sparking fears a serial killer is on the loose.
Chynna Deese, 24, and Lucas Fowler were discovered on the remote Alaska Highway in Canada on Monday.
The 450-mile road has chillingly been 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 – with the couple the fifth victims on the road in just one year after three women died or disappeared in 2018.
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.
Chynna, who had recently graduated from Appalachian State University, was originally from North Carolina.
She had been travelling the world with Aussie national Lucas, who was working on a ranch in Canada before embarking on the trip.
‘BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL SOULS’
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 remote stretch of road was given the grisly nickname Highway of Tears after a string of women were discovered in shallow graves or simply vanished without a trace.
Signs along the highway 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.
MOST READ IN NEWS
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.