The Grand County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release stating that they have identified persons of interest in the murders of Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner. The local couple was found murdered in the La Sal Mountains in August, with few official details of the investigation being released. The families of the women, as well as the larger Moab community, have been seeking answers ever since the women’s bodies were discovered.
“I hope and pray that the killer comes forward,” said Diane Brooks, Crystal Turner’s cousin, in a conversation with The Moab Sun News. Brooks is working with Sean Paul Schulte, Kylen’s father, to collect information that could help investigation.
The sheriff’s office statement revealed that the investigation narrowed the date of the murders to August 14, 2021, that shell casings and bullet fragments were found at the scene, and that there was no sign of forcible sexual assault.
Brooks urged anyone who was traveling in the La Sal Mountains around that time to send any footage or photographs to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
Sean Paul Schulte attended a reception for a memorial sculpture in memory of the couple on Saturday, Jan. 22 at the Grand County Public Library. La Sal artist Ekaterina Tatarovich created the forged steel sculpture depicting a sunflower and a rose, Turner and Schulte’s favorite flowers, and donated the sculpture to the library, where it will be permanently displayed.
“I believe what really affected me was seeing the light in Kylen and Crystal’s eyes,” Tatarovich said. “To me, that spark shows the beauty of life. The light of life. It shows to me somebody who was living true to themselves.”
Kylen’s father spoke at the reception and said that Moab was the place where his daughter and Turner could blossom—the women both had troubled pasts, he said, but in Moab, they were able to find a loving community, and find each other. The women pushed each other to become their best selves, he said.
As the investigation has been ongoing, family has seen Schulte and Turner’s lives put under a microscope online and on social media.
“I wish people wouldn’t jump to conclusions about the girls,” Brooks said. “I just wish more people knew more about how the girls really were to people in their daily life.”
Turner always had “a wonderful spirit about her,” Brooks said.
“She always had a smile, and when she saw you, she made you feel like that was the most important thing in her day,” she said. Brooks said the time spent after moving to Moab was the happiest she’d ever seen Turner.
“The girls really loved Moab, and they loved all of you,” said Schulte in his remarks at the sculpture reception. “They still do.”
Anyone with information that could possibly advance the case is encouraged to call the Grand County Sheriff’s Office at 435-259-8115. Officials are asking that the public not post tips or discuss the investigation on social media.