Former investigator: Autopsy should reveal clues in Maquoketa Caves State Park murders

Investigators are trying to find a motive behind the murder of a family at Maquoketa Caves...
Investigators are trying to find a motive behind the murder of a family at Maquoketa Caves State Park.
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 9:25 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (KCCI) - Investigators are trying to find a motive behind the murder of a family at Maquoketa Caves State Park.

But retired FBI Special Agent Michael Tabman said their autopsies should reveal new clues in the case.

The parents, Tyler and Sarah Schmidt, along with their six-year-old daughter Lula, were found dead last Friday. Their nine-year-old son Arlo survived and escaped.

Investigators believe Anthony Sherwin of Nebraska shot and killed the family, before taking his own life.

Tabman is not involved in the case, but he said Iowa investigators will go beyond searching through the park.

Investigators say Sherwin didn’t have any sort of criminal history. Tabman said this can tell a lot about a suspect.

He adds that in cases like this, where the suspect dies, what an autopsy reveals can be critical.

“Was it by homicide? Was it self-inflicted? They could determine that from the forensics that you see on television, the trajectory, the gunpowder residue on the hand, where the body fell,” Tabman said.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny is conducting the autopsies on the Schmidt family and Sherwin.

Investigators said they will reveal more information as soon as they’re completed.

Copyright 2022 KCCI. All rights reserved.