Chilling details emerge about family’s vacation that ended with boy, 9, being orphaned after parents & sister, 6, killed

HEART-wrenching new details have emerged about a family’s camping trip that ended in tragedy when the six-year-old daughter and her parents were killed in their tent.

Tyler and Sarah Schmidt, both 42, were found dead in their tent at Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground in Iowa along with their daughter, Lula, after being killed by Anthony Sherwin, cops say.

Tyler Schmidt and his wife Sarah pose with their son Arlo, bottom left, and daughter Lula during a family outing

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Tyler Schmidt and his wife Sarah pose with their son Arlo, bottom left, and daughter Lula during a family outing
Authorities launched a mobile command center at the entrance to Maquoketa Caves State Park on Friday

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Authorities launched a mobile command center at the entrance to Maquoketa Caves State Park on Friday
Tyler Schmidt left, and his wife Sarah pose with their son Arlo and daughter Lula, where they frequently hiked

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Tyler Schmidt left, and his wife Sarah pose with their son Arlo and daughter Lula, where they frequently hiked

Their nine-year-old son Arlo survived.

Sarah’s brother, Adam Morehouse, told The US Sun the family loved to camp, but he was unsure if they had been to that specific campsite before.

He said Sarah, an employee of the Cedar Falls Library, rarely has time off because she was trying to get a new program off the ground.

She told Morehouse’s wife a few weeks back she happened to be able to take Friday, the day they were killed.

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The family went out camping on Thursday night.

Police discovered their bodies shortly after they were called to the scene at 6.23 am.

Morehouse confirmed they had no connection to Sherwin.

“This was absolutely random.”

“Nobody in our families had ever met the individual or the individual’s families.”

“No interactions had occurred as far as we know, and it was just an individual decided that morning to pick a tent and walk in and have this devastating tragedy occur that affects multiple, multiple people and families all over the Midwest, and unfortunately, that tent belonged to my sister and her beautiful family.”

 Arrest records obtained by the  Des Moines Register show that   Sherwin went to the police in 2017 claiming somebody in Oklahoma fraudulently used his insurance to get dental work done.

He later called the police to tell them that his insurance company sent the wrong bill.

Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, told the paper that investigators have spoken to the Arlo but declined to reveal what he said.

“At this time, there’s been nothing discovered as far as anything that precipitated the attack” at the campground, Mortvedt said.

Cecelia Sherwin, the gunman’s mother, who was also at the campsite, told KCCI said she was the first to make contact with Arlo, who told her the shooter was wearing black.

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She said Anthony was wearing green.

She said the child told her the shooter wore black, but Sherwin said Anthony was wearing green clothing that day.

“We think (Anthony) might have sensed trouble and grabbed the gun for safety,” Cecilia Sherwin told The Omaha World Herald.

She said they were legally traveling with a gun ina secure container.

“We refuse to believe the news. “

We are deeply saddened as he had so much to live for and gave us no indication that anything was wrong.”

“I didn’t think we had any tears left but we still find ourselves breaking down and care deeply for the little boy and the loss of his family,” she said.

She added that she and her husband James Sherwin are fully cooperating with the investigation. 

Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park.

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Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park.

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