August 4, 2022 

ANKENY, Iowa – 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 Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.

Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 E 7th St
Des Moines IA 50319

Public Information Officers (PIO)

Mitch Mortvedt, Director, PDSS

Iowa Division of Professional Development & Support Services
Oran Pape State Office Building

215 E 7th St
Des Moines, IA 50319


Director of the Division of Professional Development & Support Services.