In a grassy backyard on Moab’s west side, Sean Paul Schulte and Elise Kohls are crouching over to slowly, carefully unfurl a 28-foot vinyl sign. It’s heavy, so they’re taking it slow. It’s the first time they’re seeing this design outside of a computer screen.
A sunflower and rose frame the bottom left corner of the giant vinyl sign. Just above that illustration is a photo of Schulte’s daughter, Kylen Schulte, and her wife Crystal Turner. Sunflowers and roses were their favorite flowers. In the photo, their heads are touching. Both are smiling.
“The girls look so cute,” Schulte said. “Do you know how many times Elise sent me proofs [of the sign] and I said no?”
Schulte said they were trying to get it perfect—Schulte and Kohls have been working on the sign project for months. In big bold letters at its top are the words, “Who killed Kylen and Crystal?”
In August, the couple was found murdered near their campsite off La Sal Loop Road. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office has narrowed their date of death to August 14, 2021, and a few months ago, the office confirmed they have persons of interest in the case but have not yet identified a suspect.
The families of the couple are hoping for a breakthrough soon—so are the thousands of followers on Kylen and Crystal-related social media pages, where Kohls plays an active role.
“This year would be wonderful to have an arrest and conviction,” Kohls said, “but at least we have [the sign] for however long it takes. We’re in it for the long haul, and we like people to see that we’re not giving up.”
The vinyl sign will soon hang south of town along Highway 191. Its right side reads, “Wanted: dashcam video photos from August 12, 2021, to August 14, 2021” and “La Sal Mountain Loop Road and Forest Road 4651.”
Days before their bodies were found, Kylen and Crystal told their friends about a “creeper” near their campsite.
“The creeper was the guy that scared the girls,” Schulte said. “He was the guy that crept through their camp, and we’re pretty sure he’s the guy who did it. So what we want to know is if anyone saw a vehicle coming off the road right there.”
Kohls said the campsite Kylen and Crystal were at is less than a mile from the “largest cabin in Whispering Oaks Ranch.” That turn is now marked with a cross, another effort to bring attention to this case. Kohls was there recently, and she said based on her interactions with people stopped at the turn, there’s a good possibility more evidence is out there—it’s just about getting visibility on the case.
“When we were out there putting up the cross, a couple came up in a pickup truck and we were talking to them, and they said they had heard about the girls,” she said. “And we said, ‘well, it was right here,’ and they were completely shocked.”
The sign also includes contact information for the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and a private investigator working with Schulte. Soon, it will hang along Hwy-191, roughly two miles from a painted VW Bug that was done in memory of Kylen and Crystal. Kohls said she hopes the vehicle will be able to bring more attention to the banner.
Schulte and Kohls said they have a billboard contract with a local for the next six months, though Schulte hopes they only need it for a few days. The two are collecting donations for the cost of the billboard rental and canvas, and are hoping to install another banner with the VW bug. Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/f/syezh3-homicide-expense.
This story aired on KZMU News on April 18th, 2022, and is republished here as part of a collaboration between KZMU & the Moab Sun News. Listen to the full piece at kzmu.org.