Police identify two campers found dead near Moab and will investigate the deaths as homicides

Before she was killed, one of the women had said there was a “creep” near their campsite, her aunt said.

(Bridget Calvert) The Grand County Sheriff's Office identified the two women whose bodies were found in the La Sal mountains Thursday as Crystal Turner (left) and Kylen Schulte (right).

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office released the names of two deceased women Thursday after their bodies were found in the La Sal mountains southeast of Moab on Wednesday.

Officers found the bodies of Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, in the South Mesa area of La Sal Loop Road on Wednesday. Members of Schulte’s family reported the couple missing on Sunday after they didn’t show up for work.

Medical examiners determined the cause of death for both women to be gunshot wounds, and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office will investigate the case as a homicide. The sheriff’s office did not state whether anyone has been arrested in connection to the case, but said in a statement that the office “believes there is no current danger to the public in the Grand County area.”

Schulte’s aunt, Bridget Calvert, wrote that the women lived together in Moab and “found their way from the best campsite to the next,” in a GoFundMe post published Wednesday. Calvert is hoping to raise funds to transport Schulte back to Billings, Mont., so that she can be buried next to her brother, Mackeon Schulte, who was shot and killed accidentally by a friend in 2015.

Schulte was born in Vail, Colo., but had been living in Moab with Turner. The GoFundMe page had received about $20,000 in donations as of Thursday evening, surpassing its goal of $15,000 in a single day.

“She has been the moon and the stars since that day she was born,” Calvert wrote of Schulte. “Kylen’s heart has always been full of love and life and God. She was the best sister, daughter, niece and cousin. She was a true free spirit that lived for the joy in her heart not the hatred in the world.”

Calvert set up a Facebook group called “Finding Kylen and Crystal,” where she posted that the women were last seen leaving Woody’s restaurant in Moab on Sunday in a silver Kia. Calvert said that Schulte had “told friends a creep was near them camping and [they] needed to move sites.” Police have not mentioned anything about a man near the campsite.

Calvert changed the name of the group to “Justice for Kylen and Crystal” after the sheriff’s office recovered their bodies on Wednesday.

“Now we fight for justice against their murderer!” Calvert posted in the group. “Please help push the system to do what is right. Don’t let this person continue to walk free!”

Turner was from Hot Springs, Ark., and had started a romantic relationship with Schulte in 2019.

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office initially withheld the names of the victims pending notification of their families.