Internet still believes Brian Laundrie linked to Kylen Schulte-Crystal Turner murders
MOAB, UTAH: Despite the fact that Utah police have determined that Gabby Petito’s disappearance and death were not related to the double homicide of Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner in Moab, internet sleuths are not yet keen to dismiss a connection.
Schulte and Turner were last seen alive on August 13 and their bodies were recovered from their campsite in the South Mesa area on August 18. Not long into the trip, they told friends they were having issues with a "creepy" man and planned to move to different campgrounds. Soon after that, family members stopped hearing from them entirely.
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“It has been determined that the Gabby Petito missing person case is not related to the double-homicide case involving Chrystal Turner and Kylen Schulte,” the Grand County Sheriff said in a statement last month prior to the discovery of Petito’s body in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
The police were previously exploring a potential connection between the two cases. “We’re looking at everything, I mean, anything and everything that was suspicious around that time, or we’re not ruling anything out at this time,” the sheriff’s office had said earlier. “So we’re just investigating the information as it comes in.”
According to police, Petito and her fiancé, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, were in Moab on August 12. That morning, someone called police after the two started arguing outside a food cooperative called Moonflower, where Schulte had worked. Later police bodycam footage revealed how cops stopped and spoke with Laundrie and Petito.
The Daily Beast reported on September 29 that authorities in Utah have issued a rare public appeal for potential witnesses to come forward in the double murder of Schulte and Turner. “We are asking that anyone that would have been in the South Mesa area between the dates of August 13th, August 14th, and 15th contact our office with anything they may have seen or heard,” the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office also added that it was continuing to follow up on tips received from the public, and that “the response has benefited this office in the investigation.” At the same time, however, the sheriff’s office warned that forensic analysis on “items of interest in this case” could take “several months or more to complete.”
Schulte’s father, Sean-Paul Schulte, has kept up his own investigative efforts separately from the police. The Salt Lake Tribune reports he set up a “clue booth” in a Moab park where members of the public could stop by and provide any information to the case that they think is relevant. “All I did was just provide a venue for local folks to come down and tell me clues,” he said. “Over two weeks, I probably got 30 or 35 clues, and you know, maybe only four or five of them were not really good clues.”
On Twitter, one person wrote, “I was just listening to an interview by Kylen’s father. That poor man has been through hell. He mentioned keys that were found at the campsite by volunteers after the police had searched. These keys have a customer tag w a ‘vague logo’ Anyway we could get a pic of that key tag?” To this another person responded with photos and a theory. They wrote, “I believe this was the key/card thingy found. If it's any consolation, Brian Laundrie worked at a rocking climbing place if you interpret the logo to be a rock climber. Just a theory.”
I believe this was the key/card thingy found. If it's any consolation, Brian Laundrie worked at a rocking climbing place if you interpret the logo to be a rock climber. Just a theory. pic.twitter.com/Afo4fBPRW5— izzy (@izzy60598080) September 29, 2021
There may be another point of connection between the two cases. Schulte and Turner were last seen leaving local bar Woody’s Tavern at around 8.30 pm on August 13 -- the day after Laundrie and Petito had been separated following their fight. After police separated Laundrie and Petito, Laundrie was reportedly taken to check into the Bowen Hotel in Moab, a seven-minute walk from Woody's Tavern.
But these theories are flimsy at best. The fact that Petito and Laundrie were in Moab around the same time that Schulte and Turner were killed could well be a coincidence that would have been ignored had not Petito’s death captured the imaginations of hundreds of thousands of people across the US.