Utah authorities have named the suspect in the murders of newlyweds Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner as Adam Pinkusiewicz, who worked at the same McDonald’s as Ms Turner – who was found shot to death last August, along with her wife, at a campsite near Moab.
Pinkusiewicz had been identified as a person of interest in the case after the women’s bodies were found, but authorities couldn’t find him; he took his own life a month after the murders, Grand County Sheriff Steven White said Wednesday at a press conference.
The former McDonald’s employee confessed to killing the two women before his death, revealing details only known to investigators, according to the sheriff’s office.
“He was one that we’d been trying to find for a long time,” Mr White said. “When we located his car, that’s when we found out that he’d committed suicide.”
Ms Schulte, 24, and Ms Turner, 38, were found dead on 18 August, days after they were reported missing. A friend discovered their bodies while searching for the women and while on the phone with Ms Schulte’s father.
Sean Paul Schulte, along with other friends and relatives, has campaigned relentlessly for justice since the killings of the newlyweds, who would have celebrated their first wedding anniversary last month.
Mr Schulte invited Duane Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, to investigate the case; the television star arrived in Moab just days before the announcement from the sheriff’s office.
Mr White, however, told reporters there had been no contact between Mr Chapman and Grand County authorities.
He thanked the FBI, otherlaw enforcement agencies and the public for their help since the tragic discovery of the women last August.
Pinkusiewicz, Mr White said, lived the “van lifestyle.”
“He was one of these guys that he kind of camped out everywhere,” the sheriff said Wednesday, adding that the suspect was only believed to have lived in the area for a few months. “I think his address here was the post office.”
He said no weapon had been recovered and the investigation was ongoing. The women had reportedly complained about a “creepy” man near their campsite shortly before their murders but it was unclear whether it might have been Pinkusiewicz.
While he worked at the same McDonald’s as Ms Turner, he said investigators were still working to establish whether there had been any relationship between Pinkusiewicz and the women.
“I will feel better when we have a total closure on this, but it’s a huge relief,” Mr White said Wednesday. “I can’t put it into words right now.”
Authorities said relatives had been notified, and family, friends, and strangers were celebrating the announcement on social media.
“I want to parade the streets with everyone that has shown love and support chanting: Justice for KyCry!!!” Bridget Calvert, Ms Sculte’s aunt, wrote on a memorial Facebook page Wednesday evening. “Let Their Love Light Shine!”