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Autopsy results revealed that three members of a family were shot, stabbed and strangled by an unrelated person at an Iowa state park last month.
Tyler Schmidt, 42, died from a gunshot wound and “multiple blunt force injuries,” his wife, Sarah Schmidt, 42, died from multiple knife wounds, the Department reported. Iowa Public Safety in a statement. His 6-year-old daughter, Lula Schmidt, died of a gunshot wound and strangulation, police confirmed.
The family was found July 22 inside a tent at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground, which is about 180 miles east of Des Mines. The Schmidts’ 9-year-old son, Arlo, who was at the camp, survived the attack without injury, however officials would not say if the boy was in the tent during the attack.
Authorities confirmed the killer to be Anthony Sherwin, 23, of Nebraska, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound following the family’s murder. The man was camping in Maquoketa Caves Park with his parents at the time of the attack, police said and the criminal’s mother confirmed.
Detectives said all the evidence they collected confirmed that Sherwin acted alone, but they have not released a motive for the Schmidt family deaths.
For his part, the director of the criminal investigation division of the Department of Public Safety, Mitch Mortvedt, told the AP in July that the initial investigations “did not reveal any early interaction between the Schmidt family and him.”
Likewise, Adam Morehouse, brother of Sarah Schmidt, told the media that the family had no connection to the attacker and that he believed it was a “completely random act.”