PROVO CANYON, Utah – Two men are in custody in Utah after deadly booby traps were uncovered along a popular walking trail in Provo Canyon.
The suspects -- Benjamin Steven Rutkowski, 19, and Kai Matthew Christensen, 21 -- were charged Saturday with reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor.
A statement issued by the Utah County Sheriff's Office said a US Forest Service officer discovered the two booby traps inside a makeshift shelter built from dead tree limbs while on foot patrol along the Big Springs walking trail April 16.
"As he investigated the shelter he noticed what appeared to be a trip wire near the ground at an entrance. Upon further investigation he discovered that the trip wire led to a booby trap device which was made with a large rock, sticks sharpened at both ends, and was held together with rope," the statement read.
"This device was situated in such a way that when contact was made with the trip wire it would swing toward an unsuspecting hiker or camper," the statement added.
A second booby trap was also discovered, also triggered by a trip wire. "This wire was configured so as to trip a person, possibly causing them to fall forward onto sharpened sticks placed in the ground," the statement said.
"That would kill people, easily, easily kill people," hiker Emily Hammerstad told FOX13 News. "It's just awful and sickening that people would do that kind of thing."
Authorities used Facebook to track the suspects down. They moved in on Rutkowski and Christensen following discussion of the booby traps on the social networking site. A witness also contacted the Utah Country Sheriff's Office with information on the suspects.
Police said the pair had confessed to placing the deadly traps in the makeshift enclosure.