Kylen Schulte and Crystal Beck knew the mountains of Moab well, moving from campsite to campsite in the Utah wilderness with ease. But a week ago, reportedly after telling friends they were spooked by a man they encountered, the married couple disappeared.
“Kylen and Crystal told close friends that there was a weirdo camping near them that was freaking them out !!! And that they should move campsites,” Schulte’s father, Sean-Paul, wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “Now they have been missing for over 4 days and nights!”
As family put out the word that Schulte, 24, and Beck, 38, had vanished, a friend made a disturbing discovery on Wednesday: two women found shot to death off a scenic road that runs through a national forest. Late Thursday they were identified as the missing women.
Now police are hunting for a killer, and the victims’ families and friends are wondering why anyone would hurt them.
“She has been the moon and the stars since that day she was born,” Kylen’s aunt, Bridget Calvert, wrote on a GoFundMe to raise money for a funeral.
“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 posted a photo from their recent wedding, showing Schulte in a white dress and Beck, who also used the name Crystal Turner, in a black suit. They had their arms around each other.
“No matter how they went,” the aunt wrote, “I’m sure this is how they are forever.”
Schulte’s grandmother, Kathleen, said on Facebook that she “was like sunshine brightening any room she walked into and loved to laugh... We will never get over this tragedy but will let the joy of her memories take over.”
The Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab said in a Facebook post that Schulte had worked there as a cashier for four years “and was often the first friendly face many of our owners and patrons encountered as they walked in the door.”
“Her genuine kindness, radiant energy, and tireless work ethic touched the lives of countless people and will be deeply missed by Moonflower and the Moab community,” the post said.
A relative of Beck said he saw the couple in May at a family graduation. “I don’t think live seen Crystal that happy in a long time. Those two were so so happy together,” he wrote on Facebook.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office did not say whether it had a suspect or motive in the double homicide but said it believes there is “no current danger to the public.”