Four days since the deadly shooting at Maquoketa Caves State Park, detectives are coming up empty in their quest to find answers to why the murders happened. In fact, some are starting to believe the killings were just a random act of violence.
According to agents with Iowa’s Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) , 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin of Nebraska killed three members of a family and himself at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campgrounds Friday morning, July 22. The agents say Sherwin was camping with his family 75 yards away from the people he killed: 42-year-old Tyler Schmidt, 42-year-old Sarah Schmidt, and six-year-old Lula Schmidt.
But a baffling conclusion the investigators are moving toward is that Sherwin didn’t know the Schmidt family whatsoever, and he may have carried out the killings with little motive.
“At this time, we have not been able to come across any type of interaction between him and the Schmidt family, nothing that precipitated it as far as we know,” said Mitch Mortvedt, the Assistant Director for Iowa’s DCI. “After talking to his (Sherwin’s) family that he was with, his parents, as well as other campers, there was nothing that we can establish that precipitated anything, other than just the randomness of it, the proximity.”
The fact that the murders could have been random is a conclusion some members of the Schmidt and Morehouse families came to a while ago as they mourn the losses of their loved ones, Sarah, Tyler, and Lula. But some of them don’t entirely care how the killings happened; they’re just coming to terms with the fact that they did.
“The details that the authorities have provided us have been enough for us to understand what occurred,” said Adam Morehouse, Sarah Schmidt’s brother. “(We) understand what occurred, but more importantly, we all understand the outcome.”
Morehouse says he and his family are expecting a final report from the DCI by the end of the week.