Parenting

Newlywed Lesbian Couple Found Dead After Texting Friends About 'Creepy Man'

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Scary Mommy and FOX 13 News Utah/Youtube

Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner were drawn to one another because they shared a love of nature — each of them loved nothing more than enjoying the outdoors. They even chose to live their lives untethered, converting a van to a camper and traveling between campsites in the picturesque desert town of Moab, Utah near Arches National Park, as well as taking longer road trips to surround themselves with nature. When the two women married just four months ago, they did so in an actual tree house back in Crystal’s home state of Arkansas.

Kylen and Crystal worked steady jobs in Moab — 24-year-old Kylen at the Moonflower Community Cooperative, a grocery store, and 38-year-old Crystal at a local McDonald’s. By all reports, both of the women were well-loved by the Moab community.

That’s why it has shaken the town of Moab to learn that the women were murdered — shot to death multiple times. Who could do such a thing to two such gentle souls? Was it a hate crime? The work of a serial killer? The community that loved these women is grieving, angry, and scared.

What Happened To Kylen And Crystal?

The sequence of events leading up to law enforcement locating the newlyweds’ bodies isn’t giving the community much comfort. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, when law enforcement learned on Sunday, August 14 that the women had missed two consecutive shifts at work, they opted to wait to report them missing, assuming that since they moved around a lot, perhaps they’d just changed locations and not informed anyone. But it wasn’t like either of them to simply not show up to work, especially not without calling. They were dependable employees.

Moreover, the women had texted friends in the days before their disappearance, noting a “creepy guy” had been hanging around their campsite and that they would have to move sites. Kylen’s aunt, Bridget Calvert, with whom Kylen was very close, had a gut feeling something was off, and knew for certain something was very wrong when she learned the couple’s Harley Davidson motorcycle was still parked in town.

“If they decided to go on some big camping trip or suddenly drive to Arkansas or Montana or whatever, they would never leave the Harley just sitting there,” Calvert told the Salt Lake Tribune. “That was like the big trigger that they were missing.” Calvert began posting on every social media platform she could, trying to find out if anyone had seen or heard from the newlywed couple.

A Family Friend Begins Her Own Search

Local art collector Cindy Sue Hunter learned the couple was missing from a post on Facebook. Hunter recognized Kylen from the Moonflower Community Cooperative where she grocery shopped, and she knew Kylen’s father because she had displayed some of his work at her art gallery. Because Hunter’s own mother had recently passed, she felt compelled to help try and find the women.

Hunter drove around to local campsites searching for the silver Kia SUV the women had been driving when they’d last been seen. She drove and drove, eventually finding herself in the South Mesa area of the La Sal Mountains near where she knew Kylen and Crystal had been staying. She spotted the silver Kia tucked in a thicket of trees away from the road.

Hunter had been in touch with Kylen’s father, Sean Paul Schulte, and she called him then. She approached the Kia while still on the phone with Schulte, and made a horrific discovery — Kylen’s body on the ground. She told Schulte, who instructed her to get back to her car and call the police. She did. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office sent officers out, and they recovered Crystal’s body not far from Kylen’s. Both women had been shot to death.

The Investigation Continues

That was Wednesday, August 18, three days after the newlyweds were reported missing to police, and five days after the Friday they were last seen hanging out with some friends at a local tavern. The tavern owner and camera surveillance confirmed nothing concerning happened at the tavern that night. It was a low-key, relaxed evening.

Grand County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Shan Hackwell told the public they are investigating the deaths as homicides, and that they believe whoever killed the women fled. They haven’t taken anyone into custody but say they’re actively following up on leads. This week, the FBI was brought in to assist with the investigation.

The sheriff’s office has also indicated it doesn’t believe the public is in danger, though they won’t release any other details due to the ongoing investigation. For some folks in Moab, this isn’t comforting. How can a murderer be on the loose but the public not be in any danger?

A Family And Community Grieving

Calvert, Kylen’s aunt, said it was incredibly difficult telling Kylen’s younger siblings what happened to her. They had already lost their older brother Mackeon at age 15 six years ago to an accidental shooting due to a firearm that hadn’t been stored properly. Calvert also said that Kylen’s father, Sean Paul, had loved Crystal like another daughter. “Every time I’ve talked to [Sean Paul] in the last 48 hours.” she told the Salt Lake Tribune, “he’s going, ‘I can’t believe someone killed my girls.’”

In the Facebook group set up to help find who killed the two women, someone wrote, “You never see people love each other as much as those two did.”

Another Missing Person

One unusual piece to this tragedy is that another person was reported missing from the same area in Moab on August 4, just nine days before Kylen and Crystal were last seen. Timothy Jordan Boone, age 36, and his two dogs disappeared, with one of the dogs turning up in Emery County, Utah, not far from Moab. According to eyewitnesses in a Facebook group searching for Boone, he has since been spotted in Nulca, Colorado on August 16 and also possibly spotted near Grand Junction, Colorado on August 21.

According to Boone’s family, he suffers from bipolar disorder and is currently off his meds. Authorities have instructed the public not to approach Boone if they see him because he may be a danger to himself or others. Boone does have a criminal history — he was arrested in 2018 and charged with arson after setting 13 fires in 30 minutes near Diamond Valley Lake in California.

Many of the people in the Facebook group that had been set up to find Kylen and Crystal are now wondering if the two incidents are linked somehow. Did the same person who killed Kylen and Crystal terrorize Boone and scare him off? Or are the two incidents a coincidence of timing and totally unrelated?

Hopefully authorities are close to finding the killer. The families of these two beautiful souls deserve justice. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office has asked that if anyone saw Kylen or Crystal between August 13 and August 18 or if they have any information on the case to please call the office at (435) 259-8115.

A GoFundMe that was set up for Kylen is no longer taking donations, but is asking that people instead donate to Crystal’s GoFundMe, which will help Crystal’s mother with funeral expenses.

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