Maquoketa Caves State Park To Reopen Thursday, First Time Since Tragic Shooting
Officials from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said in a press release on Wednesday that the Maquoketa Caves State Park will reopen for day use at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 28. The campground will remain closed until further notice. All campers with reservations through Sunday, July 31 have been notified and refunded.
The park closed on Friday, July 22 after the tragic shooting deaths of three members of the Schmidt family from Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Division of Criminal Investigation continues to lead the investigation of the incident.
The Iowa DNR appreciates the continued collaborative work between local law enforcement, the Department of Public Safety, and the DNR State Parks staff and conservation officers on this investigation.
A temporary memorial site will be located at the Maquoketa Caves State Park entrance sign near the Visitor Center.
On Friday, July 22nd, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said three people died and the suspected shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to the Iowa Department of Safety at about 6:23 a.m. on Friday, July 22, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and DCI were notified of a triple homicide at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground. Officers located three deceased bodies.
The three people killed were all family members and included Tyler Schmidt, 42, Sarah Schmidt, 42, and Lula Schmidt, 6, of Cedar Falls. Arlo Schmidt, the 9-year-old son of Tyler and Sarah, survived the shooting. A GoFundMe page was set up to help him
Officers later found that a camper was unaccounted for. Following a search of the area, officers found the deceased body of Anthony Orlando Sherwin, 23, west of the park. Sherwin appears to have suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and there is no danger to the public.
Anyone with camping questions can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.