The married couple gunned down in Utah after reporting a “creeper” guy at a campsite were found by a family friend while she was on the phone with one of their fathers — who’d already lost a teenage son to gun violence, according to reports.
Cindy Sue Hunter told ABC4 that she discovered the bodies of her “magical” friend Kylen Schulte, 24, and her new wife Crystal Turner, 38, after Schulte’s dad raised the alarm in a panicked call from his home in Montana.
“He said, ‘I just found out that there was a creeper dude that they were scared of and that they were saying they needed to move their camp,’” Hunter told the outlet.
“All of a sudden I had such a sense of urgency,” she said of the call three days after the women were last heard from on Aug. 15.
After alerting police, she went on the hunt herself, eventually finding the newlywed couple’s campsite in Moab on Wednesday last week.
She was on the phone with her friend’s father, Sean-Paul Schulte, when she searched the trashed campsite.
“And then I saw her body,” Hunter said of the younger woman.
“And I turned away. I think something inside me didn’t want to acknowledge what I had seen,” she said through tears.
“So I was looking at the beauty of the creek and everything and talking to the father the whole time.
“I turned around again to make myself see — and it was her,” Hunter said through tears of the “precious, precious soul” she treated like a daughter.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the couple had been shot dead and the case was being treated as a homicide.
“We do think it was an outside party,” Sheriff Steven White confirmed to KUTV.
Schulte’s dad had already lost his son, Mackeon Daniel Schulte, who was “shot and killed by a friend in 2015 at the age of 15,” according to a GoFundMe page.
“We want Kylen to lay to rest with her brother Mackeon Daniel Schulte,” the siblings’ aunt, Bridget Calvert, wrote on the fundraiser as her brother “prepares to bury a second child” and bring his dead daughter home to Billings.
The GoFundMe hit its $15,000 goal within the first day last week, and by Monday morning had almost doubled it — with Schulte’s family announcing they would split it to also help Turner’s loved ones.
“He wants nothing more than to extend the donations to Crystal’s family as well,” Calvert wrote in an update to the fundraiser.
“She was his girl too and his heart hurts for her,” she wrote, saying the newlyweds are now “forever” together.
Friends on Sunday night held a candlelight vigil at Moonflower Community Cooperative, where Schulte worked.
“Neither one of them deserved this,” Hunter said of the “wonderful people.”
“I loved them and my heart is broken and I’m struggling,” Hunter said, singling out Schulte as being “magical.”
“She just was one of the sweetest, most beautiful people I ever met … She was very special,” she said.
The sheriff’s office’s last update said no arrests had been made, and officials did not immediately respond to requests for updates.