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

Canadian seniors isolated with fewer friends, less access to internet

Findings appear in assessment of health and social challenges associated with COVID-19

Mustard Seed Coffee Company launches online ordering, free delivery

Program proceeds assist Greater Victoria residents in need

Oak Bay permits recreation vehicles in driveways during COVID-19

Council lifts restriction on campers as a place to self-isolate

Vikes Maffia, Mollenhauer among annual athletic award winners

UVic Vikes release annual athletic awards

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read