Crime - Sacto 911

Suspect named in unsolved 2004 slaying of couple sleeping on Sonoma County beach

Shaun Gallon has been identified as the suspected killer of Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall, two El Dorado County camp counselors who were fatally shot while in their sleeping bags on a beach nearly 13 years ago.
Shaun Gallon has been identified as the suspected killer of Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall, two El Dorado County camp counselors who were fatally shot while in their sleeping bags on a beach nearly 13 years ago. Cutshall family photo

A man has been identified as the suspected killer of two El Dorado County camp counselors who were shot and killed while in their sleeping bags on a Sonoma County beach nearly 13 years ago.

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas said at a Friday news conference that Shaun Gallon, 38, of Forestville in Sonoma County is suspected in the deaths of Lindsay Cutshall, 22, of Ohio and Jason Allen, 26, of Michigan. Gallon has not been arrested in their killings but is in jail as a suspect in an unrelated homicide.

On Aug. 13, 2004, Cutshall and Allen left the Rock-N-Water camp near Coloma, where they served as rafting and climbing leaders. When they didn’t return three days later, a search began.

A Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter crew rescuing a teenager perched on a cliff saw the couple’s campsite on the beach north of Jenner a couple of days into the search. A crew member called in homicide detectives when there was no response to the helicopter’s noise from the people in the sleeping bags.

For years there was no progress in the case. Recently, Gallon was arrested on suspicion of killing his brother at their Forestville home.

Gallon was known to investigators and during the initial investigation was a person of interest who detectives never ruled out as a suspect, Freitas said.

In a copy of a statement made at the news conference, Freitas said that once Gallon was arrested in his brother’s killing, detectives spoke with the prisoner about the Jenner killings.

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

The couple had planned to marry in Ohio. They met at Appalachia Bible College in West Virginia. Cutshall earned a two-year degree in Bible studies there, planning to be a missionary. Allen earned a four-year degree, hoping to work at a Christian adventure camp such as the one near Coloma.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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