Autopsy Report: Maquoketa Caves Shooter Stabbed, Strangled Victims

Family photo via GoFundMe page

Warning: graphic descriptions.

The man authorities say killed three members of a Cedar Falls family at an Iowa state park campground last month shot, stabbed and strangled them, according to the autopsy report released Thursday morning.

Tyler Schmidt, 42, died from a gunshot wound and “multiple sharp force injuries,” according to the medical examiner’s office. His wife, librarian Sarah Schmidt, 42, died from multiple sharp force injuries. Their daughter, 6-year-old Lula, died from a gunshot wound and strangulation.

The alleged shooter—Anthony Sherwin, 23, of LaVista, Nebraska—died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the report.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Thursday they believe Sherwin killed the family by himself.

“The known facts and circumstances, and all evidence collected to this point, substantiate Sherwin was the perpetrator of the homicides and acted alone,” officials said in the report.

The Schmidt family had been camping at Maquoketa Caves State Park in the early morning hours of July 22 when the homicides happened, officials said.

Only 9-year-old Arlo Schmidt survived. Family members have set up a GoFundMe for future expenses for the boy, which had raised more than $275,000 as of this writing.


By Amie Rivers

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1 Comment on "Autopsy Report: Maquoketa Caves Shooter Stabbed, Strangled Victims"

  • Unless there is a very good reason not to do so, I think authorities should also release whatever information they are able to discover about the motive for this horrible crime. Another news story seemed to indicate that authorities may have information about the motive that they might not ever release.

    I hope I misunderstood what was written in that other news story. But if authorities do decide not to make motive information public, they should explain why. Taxpayers pay for crime investigations partly so the public can have some answers and closure.

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