More details have been released about the homicides of three family members killed at the Maquoketa Caves State Park in July. Before continuing with this article, know that the description of the cause of death is from the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner. Descriptions may be disturbing to some readers.

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Iowa Department of Public Safety sent a press release on Thursday revealing the cause of death of three family members from Cedar Falls, IA who were killed at Maquoketa Caves State Park. The press release says on July 22, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Division of Criminal Investigation were notified of a triple homicide at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground.

Officers located three deceased victims, as well as the body of a man investigators believe was responsible for their deaths. The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner has determined the cause and manner of death of all four people.

Tyler Schmidt, age 42, died from a gunshot wound and multiple sharp force injuries. Sarah Schmidt, age 42, died from multiple sharp force injuries. Lula Schmidt, age 6, died from a gunshot wound and strangulation.  All three family members’ deaths have been ruled homicides.

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

The investigation into the events surrounding the homicides is ongoing. However, the known facts and circumstances, and all evidence collected to this point, substantiate Sherwin was the perpetrator of the homicides and acted alone.

No further information will be released at this time.

 

The Maquoketa Caves State Park reopened on Thursday, July 28th for day use only.

Original Story

On Friday, July 22nd, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said three people died and the suspected shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to the Iowa Department of Safety at about 6:23 a.m. on Friday, July 22, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and DCI were notified of a triple homicide at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground. Officers located three deceased bodies.

The three people killed were all family members and included Tyler Schmidt, 42, Sarah Schmidt, 42, and Lula Schmidt, 6, of Cedar Falls. Arlo Schmidt, the 9-year-old son of Tyler and Sarah, survived the shooting. A GoFundMe page was set up to help him. More than $276,000 has been raised for Arlo.

Officers later found that a camper was unaccounted for. Following a search of the area, officers found the deceased body of Anthony Orlando Sherwin, 23, west of the park. Sherwin appears to have suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and there is no danger to the public.

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