CALIFORNIA SLAYINGS Lodge owner tells police couple looked for room
The couple were supposed to return to their camp Sunday evening.
JENNER, Calif. (AP) -- A business owner here has told detectives investigating the mysterious murders of two camp counselors on a remote oceanside beach that he saw the couple more than 24 hours after they failed to show up for work at a Christian youth camp.
Bert Rangel, who owns the River's End restaurant and lodge in Jenner, told the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday that he's certain he saw the couple between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. last Monday, when they stopped to ask if there were any cabins available.
Lindsay Cutshall, 23, of Fresno, Ohio, and Jason Allen, 26, of Zeeland, Mich., were reported missing last Monday after they failed to show up at a youth camp, where they were working as whitewater rafting guides for the summer.
The couple were supposed to return to Rock-n-Water, a Christian adventure camp in the Sierra foothills about 40 miles east of Sacramento, by 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 15, to prepare for the arrival of campers. When they didn't show up the following morning, the camp reported them missing and their parents flew to California.
Their bodies were discovered Wednesday on Fish Head Beach, just a few miles north of Jenner, days after they were reported missing. Police have not identified any suspects, and no arrests have been made.
Autopsies showed the victims, who were found in their sleeping bags, had been shot through the head at close range. Authorities have ruled out a murder-suicide because no murder weapon was found, and there was no evidence of robbery or sexual assault.
Rangel said he told detectives about seeing the couple Monday, and was surprised to hear that the couple had been considered missing when they visited the lodge.
"It was Monday night and they didn't look like they were in any hurry to call," Rangel said. "There are pay phones throughout town. They could have used my phone."
Asked about the sighting, Lt. Dave Edmonds of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department said, "A lot of things at first blush can sound curious and then make sense later."
Cutshall's father, Chris Cutshall, said he knew something was wrong when his daughter and her fiance failed to show up for work for a weekly Sunday night meeting.
"It was a huge red flag," Cutshall told the Chronicle. "They had a strong work ethic. They did not miss work, period."