WATCH ABOVE: ABC4 speaks with the woman who found the bodies of Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte
MOAB, Utah (ABC4) – It has been two weeks since a newlywed couple were last seen and more than a week since they were found dead after encountering “a creeper dude” while camping near Moab, Utah. Federal authorities have been called in to assist local law enforcement as they continue to investigate the double homicide as the community expresses concerns about safety.
On Wednesday, August 18, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the bodies of two women were found in the La Sal Mountains near Moab, a popular tourist destination not outside Arches National Park. The women have been identified as 38-year-old Crystal Turner and 24-year-old Kylen Schulte. Both had suffered gunshot wounds and had last been seen on Friday, August 13.
Turner and Schulte were reportedly found by Cindy Sue Hunter, a friend of Schulte. Hunter, a longtime friend of Schulte, and calls her “magical.” Friends of the couple say the two women loved to go camping with their pet rabbit.
“[Shulte] just was one of the sweetest, most beautiful people I ever met. I’ve known her for six and half years and she was a precious, precious soul. She was very special,” Hunter tells ABC4. She says when the couple had not been heard from for three days, she received a phone call from Schulte’s father in Montana.
“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 explains. She says she eventually found their campsite while on the phone with Schulte’s father. Hunter then contacted authorities.
Before their deaths, the couple was last seen at a bar in Moab, Woody’s Tavern, on Friday, August 13, at around 9:30 p.m. A post to the tavern’s Facebook post says “these two women were very much in love with each other and their focus and attention were always on each other,” adding that despite reports the women had been followed out, “no one followed them out the door.” The post goes on to criticize how investigators are handling the investigation.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office, while confirming an investigation is underway, say they believed there is no danger to the public.
“How are we safe if you have a double homicide?” Hunter asked. ”You don’t have a suspect in custody. You’re not claiming it was a murder-suicide so how are we possibly safe? It honestly feels like they’re just trying to protect the tourism industry in Moab.”
Earlier this week, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the FBI, the State of Utah Special Bureau of Investigation, and multiple law enforcement partners are now investigating the homicides of Schulte and Turner.
“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. Investigators have asked anyone who saw Turner or Schulte between August 13-18 to contact them at 435-259-8115.
The family of Shulte started a fundraiser to cover funeral costs. According to the GoFundMe, which is no longer accepting new donations after raising $33,508, Schulte lost her brother after a friend shot and killed him in 2015 when he was just 15-years-old. Schulte’s family is directing those still interested in offering financial support to a GoFundMe for Turnery’s funeral costs.
As of August 27, no new updates have been shared regarding the double homicide investigation.