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Investigators seek clues in California camp counselor slaying
JENNER, Calif. -- Authorities in this picturesque coastal town continued searching for clues Saturday in the shooting deaths of a young couple, and some residents said they feared for their own safety.
"I'm terrified," said Julia Bechtold, 27, a waitress in nearby Duncans Mills. "It's just that we're so small, so anytime something happens, it seems so out of place."
Police have identified no suspects and no motive in the deaths of Lindsay Cutshall, 23, and Jason Allen, 26, a devoutly religious couple who were to be married next month.
Their bodies were discovered Wednesday on a remote beach, two days after they were reported missing.
Cutshall and Allen were missionaries spending the summer as whitewater rafting guides at a Christian outdoor adventure camp in the Sierra foothills town of Coloma, about 40 miles east of Sacramento.
Autopsies completed Friday revealed 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, and there was no evidence of trauma, robbery or sexual assault.
Meanwhile, people in this hamlet of barely 100 residents remained shaken by the deaths.
"It's crazy," said Keary Sorenson, 49, a volunteer at the town visitor's center. "In an hour, I'm going out to that exact spot where the murders took place for a seal watch. It's hard to imagine that something like that could take place here."
Jenner's one gas station, usually busy on summer weekends, was empty. Dennis Brown, who sells smoked salmon on the roadside, said business has been slow since the murders were reported.
"Who wants to come out here now?" he asked.
Bechtold said she was at the same spot on the beach last weekend where the bodies were discovered.
"I was telling my boyfriend how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place," she said. "Now we see this is a place where someone who camps on the beach can get shot."