FBI, state authorities join Grand County double homicide investigation

Local News

Crystal Turner, left, and Kylen Schulte, right. The newlywed couple was found dead at a campsite near Moab, Utah, in mid-August, 2021. (Family of Kylen Schulte via ABC4)

MOAB, Utah (ABC4) – Federal and state authorities are now aiding the Grand County Sheriff’s Office as they investigate the deaths of two women. Officials are now asking for anyone in the community with information to come forward.

On August 18, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office was notified of two women found dead in the South Mesa area of the La Sal Loop Road. The women were later identified as 38-year-old Crystal Turner and 24-year-old Kylen Schulte, who were recently married. Both died as a result of gunshot wounds, authorities share.

ABC4 spoke with Cindy Sue Hunter, a Moab resident who often shopped at the food cooperative where Schulte worked. Hunter describes her as “one of the sweetest, most beautiful people I ever met.” When the couple had not been heard from for three days, Hunter says Schulte’s father, who lives in Montana, called her.

“He said ‘I just found out that there was a creeper dude that they were scared of. That they needed to move their camp’,” Hunter tells ABC4.com. “All of a sudden I had such a sense of urgency.” Hunter eventually found their campsite on Wednesday and was on the phone with Kylen’s father as she searched the area.

“Then I saw her body and I turned away,” Hunter said. “I think something inside me didn’t want to acknowledge what I had seen so I was looking at the beauty of the creek and everything and talking to the father the whole time and I turned around again to make myself see and it was her.”

Earlier this week, the Moab City Police Department reacted to the incident, releasing a statement to the community that mostly said they could not release much.

“All of us at the Moab City Police Department are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of Kylen Schulte and Crystal Beck. We understand that our community has questions and that many of you don’t feel safe given the terrible circumstances of this crime,” Moab City Police say. “Please understand, this is an active investigation being led by detectives with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. All active investigations are sensitive, and the premature or inappropriate release of information can have devastating results – including making it difficult or impossible to successfully prosecute the case.”

On Tuesday, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the FBI, the State of Utah Special Bureau of Investigation, and multiple law enforcement partners are investigating the double homicide.

“Public safety is paramount and we take that duty and responsibility seriously. In response to the community’s safety concerns, active patrols have increased in the area, but use caution,” the Sheriff’s Office says. They ask that if you saw Turner or Schulte – who were last seen Friday, Aug. 13, at Woody’s on Main Street – between Aug. 13-18, contact the Sheriff’s Office at (435) 259-8115. If you receive a voice message, leave a message and an investigator will be in contact.

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