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Utah newlyweds found shot dead at campsite near national park

Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A pair of newlyweds were found shot to death near a national park in Utah following a four-day search.

The bodies of Crystal Turner, 38, and her wife Kylen Schulte, 24, were found by a family friend about an hour away from Arches National Park on Wednesday after authorities said they went missing on Aug. 14.

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Cindy Sue Hunter, a family friend, posted on Facebook that she had found their bodies telling a group dedicated to finding the couple that "the desperation of your pleas for help on [Facebook] and the presence of your voice over the phone gave me the strength and courage needed to find them."

The Grand County Sheriff's Office said a preliminary investigation conducted by the Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death was gunshot wounds and that the sheriff's office had opened a homicide investigation.

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"We are currently following up with any and all leads that come to our attention during this investigation and will continue to be available to people who come forward with information," the sheriff's office said. "The Grand County Sheriff's Office believes there is no current danger to the public in the Grand County area."

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The two women had been married in April and lived together in a converted van while working in the Moab area.

Schulte's father, Sean-Paul Schulte posted on Facebook Wednesday that the couple had said they needed to move their campsite after another camper had been lurking nearby.

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"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. Now they have been missing for over four days and nights," he wrote.

Schulte's aunt, Bridget Calvert, told NBC News the report of the "creepy guy" was concerning as they were experienced campers who were loved by the community.

"These are outdoors girls, and they're independent and confident. And for somebody to make them feel uncomfortable, it had to be a very valid discomfort," she said.

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Woody's Tavern said the couple had visited the bar the weekend before their bodies were discovered and provided surveillance video to law enforcement to assist in the investigation.

"At no time were they approached by anyone except my staff and the entire time they were relaxed and enjoying their time with their friends and each other," the tavern said in a statement Sunday. "These two women were very much in love with each other and their focus and attention were always on each other."

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