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MOAB — The Grand County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday, for the first time, that investigators had identified a suspect in the August killings of Kylen "Ky" Carrol Schulte and Crystal Turner.
But that person has died by suicide, according to the sheriff's office.
Adam Pinkusiewicz, who used to work at the McDonald's in Moab where Turner was also employed, was named a suspect in the couple's death in a prepared statement from the Grand County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators said they learned that Pinkusiewicz was in the La Sal Mountains and Moab at the time of the women's deaths, then left Utah shortly after the homicides and later took his own life. The sheriff's office stated that detectives conducted many interviews and received information that prior to the suicide "Adam Pinkusiewicz told another party that he had killed two women in Utah and provided specific details that were known only to investigators."
The sheriff's office also said Wednesday that despite this information, their investigation is still active and "the case is not closed." "Critical and newly discovered" evidence is still being processed, according to the statement, including Pinkusiewicz's vehicle, which was recently located.
The sheriff's office said that before labeling him a "suspect," Pinkusiewicz was "one of many persons of interest" in the investigation, and numerous attempts had been made to locate him without success.
In an interview Wednesday afternoon with KUTV, Grand County Sheriff Steven White said Pinkusiewicz died in September, about a month after the women were killed. Pinkusiewicz had only been in Moab a few months at the time and was living the "van lifestyle," the sheriff said, meaning he was living out of his vehicle and would camp at different places each night. Right after Schulte and Turner were found dead, he disappeared. Some on social media claimed Pinkusiewicz even left his last paycheck behind at McDonald's when he suddenly left the area.
White did not disclose Wednesday where Pinkusiewicz's vehicle was found or where he died by suicide.
While the sheriff said the investigation was ongoing, both he and the Unified Police Department in a prepared statement Wednesday seemed to strongly imply that they believed Pinkusiewicz had a role in the murders.
"Our hearts are with the families of Kylen and Crystal and we hope that these answers will bring some measure of closure to them and the Moab community," Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said in a prepared statement. Unified's Violent Crimes Unit and Forensics Unit, along with the FBI, assisted Grand County in its investigation.
The bodies of the two recently married women were found in the South Mesa area of La Sal Loop Road in August. They were last seen on Aug. 13 about 8:30 p.m. leaving a tavern in Moab. They drove to a campsite in the La Sal Mountains.
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." Schulte told friends in a phone call that they were switching campsites because of a "creepy" man who was nearby, and if something happened to them, they were likely murdered, according to search warrants.
Schulte, 24, and Turner, 38, were reported missing on Aug. 16 after failing to show up for work. On Aug. 18, after a co-worker went looking for them, the bodies of the women were found partially clothed in a creek near their campsite. Both were shot multiple times.
Until Wednesday, no suspects had been named in the case and no one has been arrested.
Anyone with information on Pinkusiewicz or his 2007 Yaris is asked to call the Grand County Sheriff's Office at 435-259-8115.