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

Chynna Deese’s sister says Bryer Schmegelsky’s dad is ‘playing the victim’

Alan Schmegelsky, father of Bryer Schmegelsky, poses during an interview with The Canadian Press in Mill Bay, B.C., on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Laura Kane)

The sister of an American tourist says the father of one of the Port Alberni men named as a suspect in the woman’s death isn’t accepting his share of responsibility for her family’s sorrow.

Kennedy Deese, whose sister Chynna Deese was found dead along with her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler near Liard Hot Springs on July 15, posted a statement to Facebook on Saturday accusing Alan Schmegelsky of playing the victim.

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

Deese also said Schmegelsky isn’t “cut from the same cloth” as her family, and that he doesn’t acknowledge his own hand in his child’s upbringing and ultimate demise.

“Your sorrow is for yourself. You cannot relate to us, as we had no doings in the cause of your pain, when you’ve played a part in the cause of our pain,” Deese wrote.

“To the murderers and their family, the appropriate action when mistakes are made is taking responsibility. The proper public response would have been a genuine apology. But we still forgive you and have mercy.”

RCMP said Wednesday that they believe they found the bodies of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, from Port Alberni, B.C., in dense brush in northern Manitoba following a massive manhunt that lasted close to two weeks.

Police have said they’re waiting for the results of an autopsy before confirming the identities.

The two men were named as suspects in the deaths of Deese and Fowler, and were charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer from Vancouver.

Alan Schmegelsky told Australia’s “60 Minutes” TV program late last week that he won’t believe his son is a murderer until he gets facts, saying he knows how the families of the victims feel.

“I’m so sorry for what’s happened. Whether it’s my son or whether it’s something else, we don’t know. I have just lost my son. I know exactly how you feel,” Schmegelsky told the program.

“It hurts a lot. He was my only child. I’ll never get to hug him again. I’ll never get to tease him again. I’ll never get to spend a minute with him again.”

“At least I know where he is. His troubles are over.”

When reached via Facebook on Sunday and asked about his response to Deese’s post, Schmegelsky said she could go on “60 Minutes” and that he could arrange it.

“I manned up. I have nothing to hide,” he wrote.

While police were still hunting for the pair, Schmegelsky sent a 132-page book to reporters about his own life. He described it as a novelization of his son’s troubled life and his numerous encounters with police and courts, and said he wanted to highlight how what he called a “broken system” shaped him and Bryer.

READ MORE: B.C. murder suspect’s father reveals details of troubled life in book

Kennedy Deese shot back that her own family suffered challenges, but doesn’t “play the victim of a broken system.”

“There is no white flag of surrender for my family. We are not defeated by divorce, mental health, violence, poverty and socioeconomic constraints, domestic disputes, alcohol or drugs, social media and bullying, feelings of loneliness, or disparities,” Deese wrote, noting that her sister rose to become the first generation of her immediate family to go to college.

“We have the courage to ask for and offer help. We are strong, and stand strong together right now in the face of all of these adversities that have come upon us.”

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett has said that determining a motive will be “extremely difficult” if the identities are confirmed through autopsies because investigators can’t interview Schmegelsky or McLeod.

He did not commit to providing details of the ongoing investigation.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

VIDEO: Saanich police tackle man who refused to move off Trans-Canada Highway

At this point, it is unclear why the man refused to move

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

CVRD testing Shawnigan water after complaints of metallic taste, odour

“This type of problem has come up a number of times in summers in the past”

Most Read