Officials release 911 phone call from Maquoketa Caves State Park shooting

For the first time, we're hearing the 911 phone call made about a Cedar Falls family murdered at Maquoketa Caves State Park.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 9:17 AM CST
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MAQUOKETA, Iowa (WQAD) - Officials have released the 911 phone call made on the morning a Cedar Falls family was murdered at Maquoketa Caves State Park.

It happened in the early morning hours of July 22, 2022 in Jackson County.

Investigators found Tyler, Sarah, and their 6-year-old daughter Lula Schmidt dead. Their nine-year-old son Arlo survived.

Investigators said Anthony Sherwin is responsible for killing the family.

The Nebraska man was found dead around 1,000 yards away from the crime scene. Investigators say he shot himself.

The 911 call lasted for about 23 minutes. The voices heard on the call are of the dispatcher, Arlo, and the nearby camper he ran to for help.

That camper was Cecilia Sherwin, the mother of Anthony Sherwin. At the time, she had no idea her son was involved.

After the murders, Cecilia told The Omaha World Herald that her family refuses to believe her son did it.

At one point during the call, she said she could hear gunshots and guessed there were around a dozen campers at the park.

“Shooting, shooting,” Sherwin said, adding that she was with a young boy. “He said that his parents were shot and there’s blood.”

During the call, the dispatcher asks to speak to the nine-year-old. The boy said he was camping with his mom, dad and sister.

He said he saw someone in black clothes, but he didn’t know who the person was.

“I woke up and there was someone in black clothes and they had a weapon and my sister was screaming,” Arlo said.

Autopsies showed Tyler died from a gunshot wound and multiple stab wounds. Sarah died from multiple stab wounds, and Lula died from a gunshot wound and from being strangled.

A motive behind the killings is still unknown.