Autopsy: Family killed at Iowa park shot, stabbed, strangled

Aug 4, 2022, 8:30 AM | Updated: 2:51 pm
A photo of Tyler and Sarah Schmidt sits on the podium during the Celebration of Life event for Tyle...

A photo of Tyler and Sarah Schmidt sits on the podium during the Celebration of Life event for Tyler, Sarah, and Lula Schmidt held at Overman Park on Tuesday, Aug. 2 2022 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Schmidt's were shot and killed at Maquoketa Caves State Park on July 22. (Chris Zoeller/The Courier via AP)

(Chris Zoeller/The Courier via AP)

Three family members killed during a shooting last month at an eastern Iowa state park were shot, stabbed and/or strangled, according to autopsy results released Thursday.

Tyler Schmidt, 42, died from a gunshot wound and “multiple sharp force injuries,” while his wife, 42-year-old Sarah Schmidt, died from multiple sharp force injuries, the Iowa Department of Public Safety said in a news release. Their 6-year-old daughter, Lula Schmidt, died from a gunshot wound and strangulation, officials said.

All three family members’ deaths have been ruled homicides. The Schmidts’ 9-year-old son, who was with his family on the camping trip, survived the attack without physical injuries, but investigators have not said whether he was in the tent when the attack happened.

The department confirmed Thursday that the killer was Anthony Sherwin, 23, of LaVista, Nebraska, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the family was attacked early on the morning of July 22 in their tent at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground. Sherwin was at the park camping with his parents at the time of the attack, according to police and Sherwin’s mother.

Investigators said all evidence collected substantiates that Sherwin acted alone, but police have not revealed a motive for the killings. Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Department of Public Safety’s division of criminal investigation, said Thursday that investigators “have indications as to what the motive was,” but don’t plan to release that information.

Police who swarmed the park about 180 miles (290 kilometers) east of Des Moines in the wake of the shooting found Sherwin’s body outside the campground but within a wooded area of the park.

A memorial to celebrate the lives of the Schmidts was held Tuesday in their hometown of Cedar Falls, Iowa, drawing about 200 people.

___

Associated Press reporter Michael Tarm in Chicago contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos talks to the media after Gov. Tony Evers addressed a jo...
Associated Press

Post-Roe differences surface in GOP over new abortion rules

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — When the U.S. Supreme Court repealed in June a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, Wisconsin’s 1849 law that bans the procedure except when a mother’s life is at risk became newly relevant. Republicans in the Legislature blocked an attempt by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to overturn the law. Yet there’s […]
21 hours ago
A cow crosses the Jordan River near Kibbutz Karkom in northern Israel on Saturday, July 30, 2022. S...
Associated Press

Mideast’s Jordan River: Rich in holiness, poor in water

ALONG THE JORDAN RIVER (AP) — Kristen Burckhartt felt overwhelmed. She needed time to reflect, to let it sink in that she had just briefly soaked her feet in the water where Jesus is said to have been baptized, in the Jordan River. “It’s very profound,” said the 53-year-old visitor from Indiana. “I have not […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: August 18, 19th Amendment is ratified

Today in History Today is Thursday, Aug. 18, the 230th day of 2022. There are 135 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Aug. 18, 1587, Virginia Dare became the first child of English parents to be born in present-day America, on what is now Roanoke Island in North Carolina. (However, the […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Heavy rains pelt New Zealand, forcing hundreds to evacuate

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Heavy rain continued to pelt New Zealand on Thursday, causing further disruptions and road closures from a storm that has already forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. Residents in the northern part of North Island found themselves isolated after landslides, fallen trees and floodwaters blocked highway access. The […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks during a news conference on April 29, 2021, in Las Vegas. S...
Associated Press

Nevada gov vows to codify order protecting patients into law

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said Wednesday that if he wins re-election he would seek to codify in law next legislative session an order he signed that protects in-state abortion providers and out-of-state patients. “Governors are the last line of defense in protecting reproductive freedoms,” he said. “The buck stops with us.” […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Visitors review new Asus computer products at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan, Tue...
Associated Press

US to hold trade talks with Taiwan in new show of support

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. government plans talks with Taiwan on a wide-ranging trade treaty in a sign of support for the self-ruled island democracy claimed by China’s ruling Communist Party as part of its territory. The announcement Thursday comes after Beijing held military drills that included firing missiles into the sea to intimidate Taiwan […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Autopsy: Family killed at Iowa park shot, stabbed, strangled