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Sleeping Bag Murder Similarities

Deputies have been going door-to-door and fielding phone tips Sunday about the murder of a young couple camping on a remote Sonoma County beach.

Police have not publicly identified a suspect or a motive in the deaths of Lindsay Cutshall, 23, of Fresno, Ohio and Jason Allen, 26, of Zeeland, Mich. Their bodies were discovered Wednesday on remote Fish Head Beach, just a few miles north of here, days after they were reported missing. No arrests have been made.

"We're concentrating our efforts out in the North Coast, for the possibility that somebody out there knows something," said Sonoma County Lt. Dave Edmonds, adding the agency's received about 150 tips.

Cutshall and Allen were missionaries spending the summer as whitewater rafting guides at Rock-N-Water, a Christian outdoor adventure camp in the Sierra foothills town of Coloma, about 40 miles east of Sacramento.

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. The pair was to be married next month, and the case has frightened residents of this tiny oceanside hamlet.

Edmonds said some tips "could end up fruitful," but he declined to elaborate.

At a Sunday morning worship service at Immanuel Baptist Church in Holland, Mich., where Allen was a member, the Rev. Rick Hoppe tried to comfort parishioners and the victims' families.

"Somebody meant this for evil, but God is using this for good ... God is perfect in love," Hoppe told The Holland (Mich.) Sentinel Sunday. "The greatest expression of love is God's sending his son."

Allen "loved the Lord and wanted to share the good news of the Gospel," said Felix Hart, 63, of Holland, a family friend and past elder of the church.

Edmonds said the sheriff's department has been in contact with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Department, which is investigating a Oct. 19 double homicide that is similiar to the California case.

In that unsolved case, Brandon Rumbaugh, 20, and Lisa Gurrieri, 19, both of Scottsdale, Ariz., were found in their sleeping bags shot in the head at a campsite outside a ghost town in Yavapai County, about 60 miles north of Scottsdale.

"We've spoken with Arizona officials and compared notes," Edmonds said. "On its face there's similarities, but some significant differences too."