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‘We’re scared’: Vigil held for slain Moab couple as residents seek answers

Crystal Beck, left, and Kylen Schulte on a 2020 road trip. The two women were found shot to death near Moab.
Crystal Beck, left, and Kylen Schulte, on a 2020 road trip. The two women were found shot to death in the La Sal Mountains near Moab earlier this month.
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A candlelight vigil was held Sunday for two women found shot to death in the La Sal Mountains near Moab a week ago.

Kylen “Ky” Carrol Schulte, 24, and Crystal Michelle Turner, 38, also known as Crystal Beck, were recently married and living out of their vehicles. Friends say because they couldn’t afford housing in Moab, they camped during the summer in the mountains and drove to work in Moab each day.

The women were last seen leaving a tavern in Moab on Aug. 14, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. But in a social media post, the owner of the tavern stated the women were actually there the night of Aug. 13.

At some point during the weekend, the women called friends to say they were moving to another campsite because of a “weirdo camping near them that was freaking them out,” according to a social media posts.

Schulte worked at the Moonflower Community Cooperative. On Aug. 18, after the women had been missing for a couple of days, store owner and family friend Cindy Sue Hunter decided she needed to go into the mountains to look for them.

“I’m going to just start driving. I’m going to look over the edge of cliffs. I’m going to look in ravines, because my thought was they had gotten in an accident. And there are so many places you can go off the road up there,” she said.

She went to the Pack Creek area and Geyser Pass. Hunter said she didn’t know where to look, but she got strong feelings about where to go and believes she was guided by the deceased couple themselves.

“I don’t know how I found them, other than listening,” Hunter said, “I’m listening, you have to help me find them. You have to help me find you. And they did.”

Out of the corner of her eye, in a secluded area, Hunter saw their campsite.

“I don’t know how I saw what I saw or found what I found other than being led to them,” she said.

She called police who responded to the area and marked off the crime scene. Investigators determined both women had been shot. In tears, Hunter said the discovery was the most difficult day of her life.

“No one believed that something like this could happen,” she said.

Sunday night, a candlelight vigil was held in front of Hunter’s store to remember the two women. Another memorial is scheduled for Wednesday.

No arrest has been made as of Monday and no suspect information has been released. But the Grand County Sheriff’s Office has stated investigators believe it was an isolated incident and there is no threat to the public.

But Hunter said that’s little solace to residents.

“Everyone is so deeply, deeply affected by this right now. And we’re scared,” she said. “We want to know how are we safe? You don’t have a suspect. You’re not claiming it was murder-suicide. So please tell us how we’re safe.”

Hunter said she is still not “OK” because of what happened.

“That is very heavy on my heart, and I don’t feel safe,” she said. “I always went for walks by myself. I always went for drives with my three dogs. I don’t feel I can do that anymore. And I don’t feel I could go back to the La Sal Mountains again, which is one of my favorite places.”

The Moab Police Department addressed the public concerns in a social media post Monday afternoon:

“We understand that our community has questions and that many of you don’t feel safe given the terrible circumstances of this crime. 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.”

A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help pay for Schulte’s funeral expenses and for her body to be returned to Montana where she will be laid to rest next to her brother, who was killed in a gun accident in 2015 when he was 15.