Last month, three family members were killed in an Iowa state park were shot, stabbed and/or strangled, according to autopsy results released Thursday.
Tyler Schmidt, 42, died of a gunshot wound and “multiple blunt force injuries,” and his wife, Sarah Schmidt, 42, died of multiple blunt force injuries, the Iowa Department of Public Safety said in a news release. Their 6-year-old daughter, Lula Schmidt, died of a gunshot wound and strangulation, authorities said.
The death of all three family members was ruled a homicide. The Schmidts’ 9-year-old son, who was camping with his family, survived the attack without physical injury, but investigators have not said if he was in the tent when the attack happened.
The department confirmed this on Thursday the killer was Anthony Sherwin23, of LaVista, Nebraska, who died of a gunshot wound when his family was attacked in the early hours of July 22. morning in their tent at Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground. According to police and Sherwin’s mother, Sherwin was at the park’s campground with his parents at the time of the attack.
Investigators said all evidence collected suggests Sherwin acted alone, but police have not released a motive for the killings. Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Department of Public Safety’s criminal investigations division, said Thursday that investigators “have an indication of what the motive was” but would not release that information.
Police, who swarmed the park about 180 miles (290 kilometers) east of Des Moines after the shooting, found Sherwin’s body outside the campground but in a wooded area of the park.
A memorial for the Schmidts’ lives was held Tuesday in their hometown of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and drew about 200 people.