Utah Investigators ‘Looking At Everything’ After Camping Couple Found Fatally Shot
Could the newlywed’s murders be related to Gabrielle Petito going missing while on a road trip in the area with her fiancé?
A newlywed couple camping out in Utah were found fatally shot and their loved ones continue to hold out hope that whoever is responsible for the women’s deaths will be brought to justice.
On Aug. 13, Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, hung out with friends for several hours at Woody’s Tavern in Moab. Surveillance video obtained by The Daily Beast shows the group laughing and talking.
“We were just having a great time, having a couple drinks, and all they said was there was a creep [staying] next to them,” Kayla Borza recalled. “And that was it.”
The next day Schulte and Turner seemed to vanish. Four days later, on Aug. 18, a family friend who launched her own search for the missing pair discovered their remains in the La Sal Mountains.
The two had been shot multiple times and their partially clothed bodies were lying in a creek near their secluded campsite, Salt Lake City’s KUTV reported, citing recently unsealed search warrants.
The documents state Schulte and Turner had encountered a “creepy man” and “investigators were informed that Kylen had mentioned to her friends that if something happened to them, that they were murdered.”
Authorities in Utah said they have not ruled out the case could be linked with that of another woman who recently disappeared after getting into an altercation with her traveling companion in the area.
In July, Gabrielle Petito, 22, and her fiancé, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, left New York, where she has family, to drive across the country in her van. On Aug. 12, a bystander called Moab police on Petito and Laundrie after the two got into a fight and Petito slapped him outside Moonflower, a co-op grocery store where Schulte had worked.
Police caught up with the couple but no charges were filed and Petito and Laundrie apparently continued on their trip, which was to include planned stops in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
Family last heard from Petito on Aug. 25. Laundrie returned on Sept. 1 to the North Port, Florida, home the two shared — with their van but without his fiancée. Petito’s mother reported her daughter missing 10 days later, and Laundrie has since refused to speak with authorities, who have named him a person of interest.
The Moab connection and timing of the separate incidents have caught investigators’ attention.
“We're looking at everything, I mean, anything and everything that was suspicious around that time or we're not ruling anything out at this time,” a spokesman from the Grand County Sheriff's Office in Utah told Fox News of detectives’ search for clues as to what happened to Schulte and Taylor. “So, we're just investigating the information as it comes in.”
As the Schulte and Taylor murder investigation continues, Sean-Paul Schulte recalled his daughter “blossomed” and “became spectacular, the tallest, brightest sunflower” after she moved in 2016 to Moab, where she met her wife, Turner, the Moab Sun News reported.
Earlier this year, the couple was married in Arkansas. “[The wedding] was so beautiful,” the grieving father said. “Kylen looked like Geena Davis and Crystal was so handsome … the way she looked up at Kylen and the way Kylen looked down at her was so loving.”
Family hoped to bury Kylen Schulte next to her brother, Mackeon Daniel Schulte, who “was lost to negligent gun ownership” in 2015 at age 15 “when he was shot and killed by a friend,” the late siblings’ aunt wrote on a GoFundMe started to help pay expenses.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office requests anyone with information relevant to the murders of Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner to contact investigators at 435-259-8115.