Authorities rule out link between Gabby Petito case and couple killed in Moab


Petito and his fiancé were in Moab before the slain couple Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner were last seen.

(Port Nord Police Department) Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito. Petito, 22, disappeared on a trip across the country in a converted motorhome with her boyfriend. Investigators say she last contacted her family in late August 2021 when the couple were visiting Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Much of their journey was documented on social media accounts which abruptly ceased.

Investigators have determined that Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito’s disappearance is unrelated to a double homicide in Moab last month that left a couple dead, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, were found shot dead in a cove near their Moab-area campsite on August 18, police said. The couple were last seen on August 13 at Woody’s Tavern in town. They were reported missing on August 16.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) A poster on a tree near the Moonflower Community Co-op in Moab, where Kylen Schulte worked, on Friday, September 17, 2021.

Petito and her fiance lived in North Port, Florida before embarking on a month-long road trip this year. Petito was reported missing on September 11. She had visited the Moab area with her fiance in mid-August, last contacted her family in late August, and was last seen at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming after leaving a Salt Lake City. hotel on August 24.

Her fiance, Brian Laundrie, returned to Florida alone on September 1 and is considered a person of interest in her disappearance, North Port police said this week.

There was no evidence Thursday that the cases were related. But North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison told a news conference that day that investigators were “having discussions with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.”

“We gave them all the information we could,” Garrison said at the time. “They have no [murder] suspicious information at this time. … They told us they were looking at everything at this point.

The timeline of cases has apparently sparked speculation about a possible connection, which has since been ruled out.

Petito and her fiance were in Moab around August 12, the same day Petito posted pictures of her on Instagram in Arches National Park. Moab Police also responded to a “domestic issue” that day involving the couple which was later classified as an incident of disorderly driving, according to records.

No one has been charged for the incident, which was reported outside the Moonflower community cooperative in Moab, where Schulte worked. But an officer separated the couple for the night, driving Laundrie to a hotel and leaving Petito with the couple’s camper van so they could “let go of their emotions,” according to the records. Body camera images released Thursday captured police response to the incident.

The following day marked the last time Schulte and Turner were seen alive. Schulte had complained to friends about a “scary man” near their campsite, court documents said. They told their friends “if anything happened to them, they were murdered,” records show.

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the double homicide. Two Moab business entrepreneurs offered $ 10,000 in rewards for information related to the case. Anyone with information can call the investigators at 435-259-8115.

North Port Police continue to investigate Petito’s disappearance in conjunction with the FBI.

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