Episode 109

The Murder of Crystal and Kylen

September 27, 2021   Tags: , , , , ,
Apple Podcasts
Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte were still enjoying their first year of marriage and lived in the great outdoors. On August 13th, 2021 they went out for drinks with friends at a local bar. They tell their friends about a creepy guy who’s been camping next to them. Their bodies were discovered near their campsite almost a week later. For a brief moment, the case was possibly linked to the high profile missing person’s case of Gabby Petito. But even with increased attention, their killer remains unknown.

Leading up to the Murders:
Kylen Schulte was originally from Billings, Montana. But after being in an abusive relationship, she shut down. She was experiencing suicidal thoughts. Her father Sean-Paul convinced her to move to Moab, Utah with him. It’s a move she later told her dad had saved her life. 

Sean-Paul and Kylen were on a hike in 2019 when they met Crystal Turner. The two women bonded with both loving the outdoors. It was after that chance meeting Sean-Paul saw a difference in Kylen. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Sean-Paul said Kylen started “blossoming.”

Their bond over nature extended to a full out love for each other. In April of 2021, The couple married in a treehouse in Crystal’s home state of Arkansas. When they got back home to Moab--a town of 5200 people--they went back to work. Kylen worked at the Moonflower Cooperative. Crystal worked at the McDonalds on Main Street. But in August of 2021, she was planning to start a new job at Trailhead Public House--a tavern across the street from the grocery store where Kylen worked. 

The couple had three vehicles: a 1987 Econoline van, a Kia Sorento and a Harley Davidson. The van was usually parked at the McDonald’s where Crystal worked. The Kia was with the women wherever they were camping, and if they left town, the Harley went with them.

In August of 2021, they were living and camping in the La Sal Mountains. The area is a popular tourist location right outside of the Arches National Park. 

On August 13th, the couple went out to Woody’s Tavern on Main Street to meet up with friends. They arrived at 6 PM. Crystal and Kylen enjoyed the drinks and conversation. But during the night, the couple told their friends about a creepy man staying next to them. They said he intimidated them. Kylen even told her friends, “if something happens to us, we were murdered.”

Crystal and Kylen left Woody’s Tavern around 9:30 PM. It’s thought they returned to their campsite or possibly went to find a new one. But then they didn’t show up to their shifts at work. Their families knew they wouldn’t just miss work. On August 15th, they reported the women missing to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Tribune, the sheriffs didn’t investigate. It was believed the 24-year-old and 38-year-old woman may have left on their own. But Crystal and Kylen’s friends and families knew otherwise. They were even more certain when the women’s Harley Davidson was still parked in town. They never would have left it behind. 

The Discovery of the Murder:
With no movement from the police, Kylen’s dad called his friend Cindy Sue Hunter on the 17th. Cindy promised she’d go and look for them first thing in the morning. 

Cindy’s first stop in the morning was by the Econoline van parked at the McDonald’s. She looked inside but didn’t see the women. She then went to look for their campsite. She called Sean-Paul in between. He told her Crystal and Kylen were planning on moving their site because of a “creeper dude.”

Cindy continued to look for the campsite. She made it to the South Mesa area of the La Sal Loop Road. Eventually she found it. Just as she began to look through the site, she saw Kylen’s body. She called the police. 

Grand County Sheriffs arrived on scene. The Kia Sorento was present along with their tent, camping items and the make-shift rabbit shelter with their pet rabbit inside. Close to the site, in a nearby creek, were Crystal and Kylen’s bodies. 

Both women had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the back, sides and/or chest. Neither were dressed below the waist. According to a search warrant later served, one of the women was wearing a bra that had been pushed up to expose her breasts. The other was only wearing a tank top. The warrant doesn’t specify which victim these details belong to.

The Investigation:

After the discovery, Grand County Sheriff’s Office said they “believe there is no current danger to the public.” Then on August 19th, they served a search warrant on the couple’s Econoline van. 

It was still parked at McDonald’s. According to the search warrant, the vehicle was “unlawfully acquired” and “has been used or is possessed for the purpose of being used to commit or conceal the commission or an offense” or “evidence of illegal conduct.”
Inside the van was a black journal. It held newspaper clippings, miscellaneous mail and pay stubs for Crystal, Kylen and Kylen’s dad. There was a Bible, notes with phone numbers and other information. And there was a damaged black Samsung Galaxy 8.

Also inside was drug paraphernalia--an electronic scale, a glass pipe, a small plastic container. All of them had residue on them.  There were also pills in the van: 10 Clonazapam, 13 ibuprofens, 9 amoxicillin, and 1.5 of prednisone. 

With no leads, the FBI and state authorities began to help with the investigation. On the 9th the sheriffs said they believe the killer fled the area after killing the women. 

Potential Ties to Gabby Petito Case:
Crystal and Kylen’s case didn’t gain much media attention at first. It had been on our radar, but we were still digging. Then just last week Crystal and Kylen’s name started appearing everywhere because a different case--that of Gabby Petito--had a possible connection.

22-year-old Gabby Petito and her boyfriend 23-year-old Brian Laundrie left on July 2nd, 2021, to start their next cross country road trip. A trip they chronicled on their instagram and youtube. 

On August 12th they made it to Moab, Utah. It was the day before Crystal and Kylen were last seen alive. Gabby and Brian visited Arches National Park. At 4:30 PM that day a witness called in a domestic incident. The witness said the couple were fighting over a phone and they saw Brian slap Gabby inside the van. The incident happened right outside of Moonflower Cooperative, where Kylen worked. 

15 minutes after the call, law enforcement spotted the white Ford Transit Van near the National Park. It was going 45 mph in a 15 mph zone. A traffic stop was conducted. The van hit a curb before it stopped. 

When the officer approached the vehicle, Brian was driving. Gabby was crying “uncontrollably” in the passenger seat. Both Brian and Gabby gave the officer the same story. They admitted to the argument outside Moonflower’s. According to Brian on the bodycam footage, he told Gabby he needed space but she didn’t want to leave him. Then she began slapping him. That’s when Brian grabbed her face and pushed her back.

Brian said he then jumped in the van, trying to lock all the doors so he could leave Gabby. But he didn’t lock the driver’s side door. She opened it and crawled over him to the passenger seat. 

Their stories differ a little in regard to the traffic stop. Gabby said she saw the police car and punched Brian’s arm to get his attention. According to her, the punch caused him to swerve and hit the curb. Brian, however, said Gabby grabbed the wheel. 

During the entire interaction, Gabby cried. Brian was calm. But he did have scratches on his face and arm. The couple begged the police not to arrest either of them. Law enforcement agreed as long as they would separate for the evening. Brian was set up with a hotel room in the area and Gabby was left with the van. 

There wasn’t activity again on their social medias until August 19th. On that day the couple posted a video on Youtube about their “van life.” The two were seen kissing in the van, rock climbing and laughing. 

On August 24th, Gabby FaceTimed her family from Salt Lake City--the couple was still in Utah. She told them they were leaving Utah and heading for Wyoming. 

Gabby’s mom received a few more texts from her daughter until the 30th. But according to The New York Times, her mother is unsure if Gabby was the one who sent them. Gabby posted on Instagram on August 25th for the last time. Then on the 30th, her mom received one last text message telling her, “No service in Yosemite.”

Two days after that text, Gabby’s fiance Brian returned home to North Port, Florida.The drive from Yosemite to North Port is 41 hours. He was driving the van. But Gabby wasn’t with him. 

With no word from Gabby for over ten days, her parents reported her missing on September 11th. Then the media storm began. Law enforcement tried to speak with Brian, but he refused to be available for an interview and hired an attorney.  

Police described him as a “person of interest” in Gabby’s disappearance. Despite law enforcement reaching out directly to Brian’s attorney, he would not interview. 

Then on September 17th, the case took another twist. Brian’s parents tell law enforcement they haven’t seen Brian since the 14th. They point to the Carlton Reserve.

Law enforcement was now searching for Brian and Gabby. During the searches, Utah sheriffs said they do not believe Gabby’s case is related to Crystal and Kylen’s murders.

On Sunday, September 19th, remains were discovered in the area of Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area. It’s located in Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern line of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The area is remote--surrounded by lakes, mountains and trails. 

The autopsy of the remains is expected to take place on Tuesday, September 21st. The manner of death has been ruled homicide. Cause of death has not been released.

Daniel Robinson Missing:
24-year-old Daniel Robinson is a field geologist. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after he graduated from college. Many of the sites he oversaw were in the remote desert. On June 23rd, 2021, Daniel was seen driving his blue Jeep Renegade near Sun Valley Parkway and Cactus Road. No one knew where he was going. 

When Daniel hadn’t contacted anyone, he was reported missing. Buckeye Police Department conducted air and land searches. The search has covered 70 square miles. It has used UTVs, cadaver dogs and drones. 

Nearly a month later--on July 19th-- Daniel’s Jeep was discovered. It had significant damage. A landowner found it four miles southwest of Daniels last job site. It was in a ravine--rolled and landed on its side. The airbags were deployed. 

Inside the jeep were Daniel’s clothes, cellphone, wallet and keys. According to Arizona Central, the state of Daniel’s jeep has lead them to believe foul play is not suspected. But his location is still unknown. 

His family has made a petition with the hopes that the Buckeye Police Department be held accountable.  Daniel’s father believes law enforcement is not doing their job to find his son. He hopes the police will consider a criminal investigation into Daniel’s disappearance, believing the crash site may have been staged. 

38-year-old Crystal Turner and 24-year-old Kylen Schulte were last seen at Woody’s Tavern having drinks with friends on August 13th, 2021. They left the tavern around 9:30 PM and weren’t seen alive again. A family friend went searching for the women and discovered their bodies at their campsite on August 19th. Each woman was nude from the waist down and had been shot multiple times. Their killer or killers still remain unknown. 

The missing person we brought you at the end was that of Daniel Robinson. He hasn’t been seen since June 23rd, 2021 in the area of Sun Valley Parkway and Cactus Road. His car was located nearly a month later with his belongings inside. But there was no trace of Daniel. Daniel is 5’8”, black hair and brown eyes. He is missing his right forearm and hand. 

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