Man tied to cold-case killing of couple camping on California beach, deputies say

(WOOD)

Santa Rosa, Calif. (WOOD) – Deputies say a suspect in the 2004 killing of a couple shot dead in their sleeping bags as they camped on a California beach is in custody for another murder.

In a Friday news conference, Sonoma County, California, authorities said the suspect in the murders of 26-year-old Jason Allen and 23-year-old Lindsay Cutshall is Shaun Gallon, 38, of Forestville, California.

The bodies of Allen and Cutshall were found in August 2004. Both had been shot in the head.

Both Allen, of Zeeland, Michigan, and Cutshall, who was from Fresno, Ohio, were camp counselors. They were reported missing by the camp at which they worked. They were on a three-day sight-seeing trip of the Northern California coast when they were killed.

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The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said Gallon was in custody for his brother’s recent murder at their home when he made statements to authorities that connected him to the cold case murders.

“He had information about the killings that no other person could have known and we have located evidence that corroborates his information. Based on what detectives have been able to learn, we feel confident that we have Jason and Lindsay’s killer in custody,” said Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas.

The sheriff said Gallon is “well known” to investigators and was a person of interest early on in the case. He said detectives never ruled him out as a possible suspect.

Authorities said there is no known connection between Gallon and the victims. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office believe it was a random crime.

No weapon has been found in the case.

“This case is further proof that the men and women of the sheriff’s office will never give up protecting our community and seeking justice for crime victims,” said the sheriff.

Freitas also read the following statement from the victims’ parents, Bob and Delores Allen and Chris and Kathy Cutshall:

“We are extremely pleased that our children’s murderer is in custody where he belongs. We praise the Lord for his capture and we trust in the due process of the law. We would like to thank the heartfelt concern of the people of Jenner and Sonoma County. We have appreciated your support for this case throughout our thirteen-year ordeal.

We are especially grateful to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office for their tireless pursuit of Jason’s and Lindsay’s killer. The strong support for us and for the case by the former sheriff, Sheriff Cogbill, and the current sheriff, Sheriff Freitas, has been outstanding. And the dedication of all the lieutenants, sergeants, detectives, and support personnel of Sheriff’s Office Investigations throughout the years has totally amazed us. The combination of their humanity and professionalism would not allow them to give up on this case. And when we at times wondered if this day would ever come, the detectives in particular wouldn’t allow us to lose hope. To all who have worked this case over the years, we can’t thank you enough. You are true heroes to us and we thank God for you.

Finally and most importantly, we want to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for sustaining us and our families throughout this long journey. We know that we have miles to go before the case is closed with a conviction, but we also know the power and wonder of God’s grace.

Our prayers continue to be for the Sheriff’s Office as they build their case, for the families of the deputies, who have given them their undying support, for all the dear folks of Sonoma County who have prayed for us, and even for Shaun Gallon who heartlessly committed this senseless and wicked crime. Thank you.

The sheriff said detectives are working hard to complete their investigation and will be forwarding their findings to the district attorney’s office in the near future.

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