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)

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

Manitoba Manhunt

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

Just Posted

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of North Island conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
QUINN’S QUIPS: Art is more than simple expression in First Nations culture

Indigenous artwork has a connection to its people, and vice versa

The Rogers Creek Trail main trailhead is located on the Redford Extension in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Hiker rescued after cold few hours in the bush outside Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad said they receive frequent calls for people lost on this trail

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read