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Public safety 'paramount to us,' sheriff assures Moab residents amid 2 killings

The Grand County sheriff on Tuesday tried to reassure county residents that public safety is "paramount" to his office after several residents have expressed concerns about the unsolved killings of two Moab women.

The Grand County sheriff on Tuesday tried to reassure county residents that public safety is "paramount" to his office after several residents have expressed concerns about the unsolved killings of two Moab women. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

MOAB — The Grand County Sheriff's Office says deputies are doing all they can to keep the residents of Moab and the surrounding area safe.

"Public safety is paramount to us. We've increased patrols on the mountain. We're doing everything we can. We've done (flyovers) with helicopters. I want the public to know we're doing everything we can to maintain their safety," Sheriff Steven White said during a brief press conference on Tuesday.

The sheriff's comments come amid the double-murder investigation of two Moab women who were were shot to death while camping in the La Sal Mountains. Several residents have said they feel unsettled that no one has been arrested and there is no suspect information or known motive for the killings.

Also on Tuesday, the sheriff's office updated the timeline in the disappearance and deaths of Kylen "Ky" Carrol Schulte, 24, and Crystal Michelle Turner, 38.

The women were last seen on Friday, Aug. 13 about 9:30 p.m. leaving a tavern on Main Street in Moab. At some point during the weekend, friends say the women called to inform others that they were moving to a different campsite because of a "weirdo" nearby who was "freaking them out."

On Monday, Aug. 16, Moab police received a call that Turner had not shown up for work, which co-workers said was very unlike her.

On Wednesday, Aug. 18, about 11:30 a.m., Schulte's boss and friend Cindy Sue Hunter, who went looking for the missing women, found their bodies at their campsite in the South Mesa area of the La Sal Mountains. Both had been shot to death. No suspect has been identified and investigators have ruled out the possibility of the deaths being a murder-suicide, according to the sheriff's office.

After the bodies of the women were found, the sheriff's office released a statement saying there was "no current danger to the public" and that the killings were believed to be been an isolated incident. But because no information has been released about a suspect, several residents have questioned how deputies can be so sure about the killings.

Grand County Sheriff's. Capt. Shane Hackwell said Tuesday that the investigation is still in the preliminary stages. Multiple agencies, including the FBI and the State Bureau of Investigation, are assisting with the case.

"We're doing what we can and we will do all we can to get this resolved," he said.

Hackwell said the sheriff's office is committed to being transparent, but will not release information that could potentially compromise the investigation.

The sheriff did not take questions following his brief statement at the press conference.

Anyone with information about the women's deaths is asked to call the sheriff's office at 435-259-8115.

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