It’s been a month since the murder of Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner. Tragedy rocked the community of Moab – the couple, found murdered in their campsite in the mountains of La Sal on August 18, were an integral part of their groups of friends, workplaces and families.
Schulte’s father, Sean Paul, remembers her saying Moab was the “greatest thing of all time” when he moved to the area – she loved the freedom people had to be who they wanted. and go where they wanted.
The tragedy of the couple’s murder and the fact that the suspect is still at large threatened that sense of freedom for many. Members of the Moab community are shocked and overwhelmed by the crime, even those who did not personally know Schulte and Turner.
Kylen worked at Moonflower Community Co-op as a cashier. The co-op wrote on Facebook that she was “heartbroken” to share the news of her death, and that her “genuine kindness, radiant energy and tireless work ethic have touched the lives of countless people and will be missed. deeply ”. Crystal worked at the local McDonald’s, where “she set the kitchen on fire,” Schulte said, with her southern drag and “spitfire pistol” personality. McDonalds staff also organized a memorial for women.
Moab resident Dane Brewer said he and his wife, Wendy Wuthrich, did not know either of the two women, but were so moved by the tragedy that they decided to offer $ 10,000 through from their private loan company, Sacred Earth One, to contribute to a conviction fund for information leading to the conviction.
“None of us knew them personally, but we are strong members of the community and we just felt it was important to provide all possible support to help find justice for this heinous crime,” Brewer said.
Another anonymous local company had already offered $ 10,000; with the contribution of Sacred Earth One, the reward is $ 20,000.
Brewer is hoping to see new information presented that can help bring justice to Schulte and Turner.
“I hope now that the FBI is involved they can use advanced forensic analysis and they can move the case forward,” he said. The Federal Bureau of Investigations joined the case in late August.
Brewer and Wuthrich have lived in Moab for over a decade, and he said they love the diversity of political perspectives and experiences of locals and visitors who are drawn to Moab from around the world.
“We love to meet new people and show them all the beauty of here,” Brewer said.
Now, however, Brewer has noted that the area does not feel safe, with no information on a suspect who is presumably still at large.
“Initially when the sheriff’s department announced that they had found them dead and the community of Moab had nothing to fear… I thought it was confusing,” Brewer said.
A press release from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office on August 19 announced that the department was continuing a homicide investigation and said there was “no current danger to the public in the Grand County area.” .
When asked by the Moab Sun News about the statement at the time, spokesman Shan Hackwell said investigators believed the killings were “an isolated incident.”
When Brewer’s daughters, who are in their twenties, recently visited him, he told them that it was not safe to camp alone in the area. He is deeply saddened by this and by the pain the community is going through.
“We love this place,” Brewer said. “To see a tragedy like this happening in our community is incomprehensible. “
A memorial for women will be held on Friday, September 17 at Old City Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The service will be a chance for the family and community of Moab to remember the life of Schulte and Turner, said Schulte.
The service will provide an opportunity for community members to tell stories about women and bond with one another. Pastor Cole J. Howe of the Moab Baptist Church will say a prayer, followed by reflections from Schulte. Paninis Plus will serve food and there will be music.
“We come together to support Sean Paul and go out, eat and share stories and empathize together,” said Cindy Sue Hunter, a friend of the family.
To report any information that may be relevant to the South Mesa homicide case, contact the Grand County Sheriff’s Office at 435-259-8115. Officials are asking the public not to leave relevant advice on social media.
Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource Center offers free and confidential help and support to primary and secondary victims of sexual and domestic violence. Call 435-259-2229 or visit www.seekhaven.org for more information.