GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The parents of a Zeeland native who along with his fiancée was murdered nearly 13 years ago got their first step toward closure last week.
For years, there were nothing but dead ends in the cold case investigation. Then on Friday, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said the killer was in custody. Authorities say Shaun Gallon shot and killed Jason Allen, 26, and his fiancée Lindsay Cutshall, 23, in August 2004 on a beach in Jenner, California.
Allen’s parents, who still live in West Michigan, spoke only to 24 Hour News 8 on Monday about the news that the man believed to have killed their son had been caught.
“I feel pity for him because he was being controlled by Satan and evil in this world,” Bob Allen said.
He and his wife, Delores Allen, have waited more than a decade for answers.
“After a certain amount of time, you start thinking, well, maybe it’s not going to be solved. So it did come as a shock but we were relieved,” Delores Allen said.
Gallon, 38, was linked to the 2004 murder case after being arrested for the recent murder of his brother. It doesn’t look like Gallon knew Jason Allen and Cutshall. Authorities say they think the killing was random.
The Allens have always been strong in their faith. Jason Allen attended Appalachian Bible College and realized it was his calling to travel the world spreading Christianity. In 2004, he felt the call to teach at a Christian adventure camp for the summer in California with his fiancée. The two were set to get married in September of that year.
They remained faithful to God and one another through their last breath.
“They had their devotional books. They had their marriage counseling materials there that they had studied. It was lying beside [their bodies],” Delores Allen said.
Since the unfathomable loss, the Allens have published a book about relying on their faith to cope with the murder. Bob Allen wrote a soul-piercing preface about submitting yourself to a higher power.
“If you are reading this book to find a way to deal with a loss of a loved one without completely surrendering your life to God, you will not find it here,” the beginning of the book, “For His Glory,” reads.
Most of the book chronicles the early years of the investigation. Delores Allen said she began taking notes when she and her husband were first were called to California so she could share information with their daughters. That led to writing more about their journey toward acceptance.
“That’s the only way I think we were able to get through this without being bitter, without being angry is because we’ve have that grace from the Lord,” Delores Allen said.
Another form of saving grace has been the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Bob Allen talked of a tour they were given early on in the investigation.
“You go through these cubicles and one after another, they had a picture of Jason and Lindsay there,” he said.