DCI releases cause of death in Maquoketa Caves State Park killings

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:06 AM CDT
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ANKENY, Iowa (KWQC) - The Iowa State Medical Examiner has released the cause of death for the four people found dead at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground on July 22.

Tyler Schmidt, 42, died from a gunshot wound and multiple sharp-force injuries. Sarah Schmidt, 42, died from multiple sharp-force injuries. Lula Schmidt, 6, died from a gunshot wound and strangulation, the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation said in a media release.

According to the DCI, Anthony Sherwin, 23, of LaVista, Nebraska, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death has been ruled a suicide.

According to the DCI, all evidence collected supports that Sherwin was the perpetrator of the homicides and acted alone. Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Division of Criminal Investigation, said “physical evidence” belonging to Sherwin was found inside the Schmidt’s tent where the attack happened.

He did not specify what that physical evidence was.

Mortvedt said there was no known relationship or interaction between Sherwin and the Schmidts prior to the incident.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Division of Criminal Investigation responded on July 22 to a triple homicide at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground, according to DCI.

Officers located the Schmidts, as well as Sherwin, DCI said.

The investigation is ongoing.

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