The woman who found the slaughtered Moab couple almost felt as if she was being divinely guided in the search for her missing friends.
In an interview with People, Cindy Sue Hunter recalled what was going through her mind as she drove around Utah’s La Sal Mountains on August 18, 2021, as she looked for Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte, admitting that it felt like something greater than herself was aiding her.
She told the outlet:
“I was getting ready to turn on Warner Lake turnoff, and, at that point, it was like the universe was just screaming at me, ‘You need to go straight and you need to hurry. Please. You need to hurry. Please go straight, go straight.’”
Cindy remembered “catching a glint of silver light” coming from her left side, and decided to head towards it when she was driving over a cattle guard.
“So, I stopped my car, and backed my car up and I went, ‘Oh, there’s campers down there.’ I thought I was going to find more campers that I could ask, ‘Have you seen the girls?’”
As she got closer, however, Hunter spotted the nomadic pair’s silver Kia, making her realize she “had just found the girls’ campsite.”
Hunter was speaking to Schulte’s father Sean-Paul Schulte on the phone as she walked across the campsite. Eventually, she found the women’s bodies in a nearby creek; both had been shot to death.
“I saw Kylen’s body in the water and I immediately turned away. And I just kind of shut down inside. And I started rambling, apparently, talking about the water, how pretty it was, what a beautiful location . And I finally convinced myself that I had to look and confirm that there was a body there, because I wanted it to be logs or tree limbs, you know? Anything but what I was seeing… I finally turned around and looked and I said, ‘Sean, I found a body. And I can’t see her face because of where she’s at and how she’s laying.’”
When Schulte’s father asked whose body it was, Hunter lied to him, saying she couldn’t tell. She confessed:
“I knew it was Kylen. I just didn’t want to admit it was Kylen yet… The 34 days, I literally cried every single day.”
As you may know, the newlyweds were reported missing by co-workers on August 15 after both women failed to show up for their shifts. The pair had been living out of their van, moving from one campsite to another with their pet rabbit, Ruth.
Two days earlier, Schulte told friends at Woody’s Tavern in Moab that a “creepy man” had been lurking close to their campsite and harassing them. She texted a warning to other friends, saying that “if something happened to them, that they were murdered” by him.
Investigators have identified a slew of potential suspects, but all have been cleared. Now, there’s speculation the women were killed the morning of August 14, with detectives confirming an audio recording from that morning had been recovered, and that includes the sounds of gunshots.
Schulte’s father and private investigator Jason K. Jensen believe the key to finding the couple’s killer could lie within the memory card of someone who was in the area at the time. Jensen, who’s been looking at satellite imagery from the area around the time of the murders for clues, explained:
“If somebody had their dash cam on while driving along La Sal Mountain Loop Road, maybe their camera .”
Schulte’s father elaborated:
“When someone drives on La Sal Mountain Loop Road, what they’re seeing below them is the Colorado River, Arches Park, Canyon Lens Park, the Moab Canyon. So, if someone is driving that road, and they’re filming on their cell phone with their cell phone in their hand — not on the dash but in their hand — they’re going to aim it towards the canyons, towards the sunset, they got a picture of the girls’ campsite. If anyone has a glimpse of the girls’ silver Kia in the shot, and there’s a second vehicle, then boom.”
Here’s to hoping their killer is found and brought to justice.
The case is still open, and investigators are urging anyone who may have any information about the killings to call them at 435-259-8115.
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