Moab man questioned, cleared in Grand County double killing

Crystal Beck, left, and Kylen Schulte, on a 2020 road trip. The two women were found shot to death near Moab in August. New court documents show that a man was questioned in their deaths, but he was cleared as a suspect.

Crystal Beck, left, and Kylen Schulte, on a 2020 road trip. The two women were found shot to death near Moab in August. New court documents show that a man was questioned in their deaths, but he was cleared as a suspect. (Instagram)

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MOAB — A man questioned early in the investigation into the shooting deaths of Kylen "Ky" Carrol Schulte, 24, and Crystal Michelle Turner, 38, is no longer considered a suspect in the case, the Grand County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday.

While the sheriff's office was asked to respond to the information Tuesday, it didn't respond until it sent out a statement Wednesday, a day after media outlets ran stories about an unsealed search warrant affidavit that talked about a suspicious man who knew of both Schulte and Turner, and who allegedly camped near the two women about the same time police believe they were killed.

The statement says that a "forensics analysis determined there was no related evidence" on items seized from the man and that "the individual was ruled out as a suspect early in the investigation and the individual was already well known to the Moab community."

Schulte and Turner were last seen on Friday, Aug. 13, leaving a tavern on Main Street in Moab to go camping in the La Sal Mountains outside of town. 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 creepy man around their camp and they had been intimidated by him," according to court documents.

On Aug. 18, after one of the women had not shown up for work, their bodies were discovered in a creek bed near their campsite in the South Mesa area near the La Sal Loop Road. Both had been shot multiple times. The women were undressed from the waist down, though in January the Grand County Sheriff's Office announced that an autopsy found no signs of forcible sexual assault involving either victim.

According to a newly unsealed search warrant affidavit served in August, a sheriff's deputy had made a traffic stop on Aug. 17. The driver of that vehicle, who was originally from Ohio and now lives in Moab, had a Utah driver's license but an Ohio license plate.

The traffic stop stood out to the deputy because the driver "was so unnerving that the veteran law enforcement officer decided not to write the speeding ticket as he did not want to take his eyes off" of him. The deputy then told detectives investigating the death of the women that the man from the traffic stop "acted oddly for being pulled over for speeding, almost a combination of euphoria and that he had been caught doing something wrong," according to the warrant.

Investigators received additional information that the man "has been seen around town and that he routinely sleeps in his vehicle. One party stated that she had to make (him) leave her place of business as he makes unwanted advances toward women and makes them feel uneasy," the warrant states.

On Aug. 18, the day the bodies of the women were found, detectives went to question the man. He admitted to seeing Schulte regularly at the market where she worked, which is where he was hired to work two days before he was interviewed by police, according to the warrant. Investigators were told that the man frequented the store before he worked there, and while he "had not had any issues with Kylen ... (he) had given a different female cashier a red rose."

"When asked about his interactions with Kylen, he rambled about the state of interactions between two people," the warrant states.

The detective then directly asked the man if he had killed the women and he said he had not, according to the affidavit. When he was told that deputies were investigating the deaths of Schulte and Turner, the man "swallowed but had no other outward sign of nervousness or surprise; he did not shift stance, he looked from the second Investigator to me, his carotid artery did not pulse and his chest did not move quickly. The shifting of gaze was likely him gauging reactions and proximity as is common in people who like to run," the detective wrote in the warrant.

When asked about his whereabouts from Aug. 13 to Aug. 15, the man — who routinely slept in his car — "could not give any times and stated he would travel to a spot that he often slept at, as it was away from people. (He) described the location that he would normally sleep at as 100 to 300 yards up the Loop Road from the Moab Overlook on a dirt road, and that he had left a blanket there," the warrant states.

Deputies then asked permission to search the man's car, and he declined. When they went to look around the area where he claimed he was sleeping that weekend, they reported finding two blankets and a jacket. The deputies also "observed what they believed to be blood on the jacket," the warrant says.

The location where the man said he slept "would cause Kylen and Crystal to pass it on their way to their campsite," the warrant states. "This location is 8.8 miles via road from the scene where Kylen and Crystal were found, but is less than 4 miles if a straight path is taken."

A woman later told investigators that she had worked with the man in the past and that "when she told (him) of Kylen and Crystal dying, his reaction was somewhat indifferent but with a small amount of shock," according to the affidavit.

Based on the evidence collected and the statements the man both did and did not make, deputies noted in the warrant that it was "imperative that law enforcement explore this avenue of inquiry."

Deputies served a search warrant on the man's car and seized two hats and a long-sleeved shirt.

According to the statement from the sheriff's office on Wednesday, nothing of evidentiary value related to the double homicide was found on the jacket or blanket. Because of that, the sheriff's office allowed the six-month seal placed on the warrant to expire.

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

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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