Kylen Schulte’s father has retained a private investigator to look into the unsolved murders of his daughter and her wife in Moab, Utah.
Sean Paul Schulte is working with Salt Lake City-based investigator Jason Jensen to search for the killer of Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner, a newlywed couple found dead at their campsite near the southern Utah tourist town in August.
Jensen, who claims to have 25 years of investigative experience, is reportedly working the case pro bono.
The official investigation is being handled by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, but Kylen Schulte’s father and others in Moab have criticized authorities for what they see as a lack of progress and transparency in their search for a suspect.
Private Investigator Seeking ‘Campsite Creep’
That night, friends reported that the pair mentioned a “creep” who had set up next to them on the campgrounds. Kylen Schulte reportedly told her father that she and Turner relocated their campsite to get away from the unidentified man.
“We wonder who this guy is and I don’t think there is a coincidence that somebody else is the murderer, I think it’s really this creepy guy,” the private investigator said. “If you know anything about Kylen and Crystal, they were very down-to-earth people, they were not debutants that somebody would be beneath them. It would take a lot for this guy to be creepy in their eyes.”
‘Can’t Rule Out’ Brian Laundrie Connection
Laundrie and Petito were infamously detained by Moab police after a domestic dispute on Aug. 12, the night before Schulte and Turner were last seen alive. The couple spent the night apart, at the advice of police, and it’s unknown where Laundrie and Petito were from Aug. 13 to Aug. 17 — the same timeframe during which Schulte and Turner were murdered.
Until Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts for those dates can be established, Jensen said he won’t rule out a connection between the cases.
The domestic dispute between Laundrie and Petito that ended with Moab police involvement began when the couple were seen fighting near the Moonflower Community Cooperative, a grocery store where Kylen Schulte was reportedly employed. Sean Paul Schulte has speculated that his daughter might have become involved in the spat, had she witnessed it.
“There was this big deal about Brian and Gabby getting in a tussle in front of the Moonflower,” he told Deseret. “And Kylen is the kind of person that would step out and say, ‘Hey, stop, you guys be nice.’”
Investigators with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office have said they don’t believe in any connection between the cases.
Private Investigator is Seeking New Leads
Jensen has also said he believes satellite photos may reveal new leads in his investigation of the Moab murders.
“We’re hoping that satellite imagery in Moab will reveal a car in their camp area, at least a color, if (we’re) not be able from skyward to notice the make and model,” he told Oxygen, noting that the technology has been used similarly in other cold cases.
Kylen Schulte’s Father Stonewalled
Jensen’s involvement in the Moab murders comes after weeks of Sean Paul Schulte publicly criticizing the official Grand County Sheriff’s Office investigation.
Kylen Schulte’s father has told reporters that he had operated a “clue booth” in Moab’s Swanny City Park for weeks, gathering tips and information from locals to aid in the investigation — a move that Jensen has since called “brilliant.”
Schulte said that he had dutifully passed on the “clues” to Grand County investigators, but felt that they weren’t taking the information seriously or following up.
“I don’t even know where these clues are going, I wish I knew that the clues I’m turning in were immediately being handed over professionally by a team of investigators. But it seems to me they are being handled by a shorthanded, small-town entity,” he told Deseret.
But with a private investigator at his disposal, Kylen Schulte’s father feels like he may be one step closer to solving Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner’s murders.
“[Jason Jensen] will be taking over as my ‘boots on the ground,’ along with my lawyer, as I am heading home to Montana,” he told reporters.