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Camper Suspected of Killing Three People from a Separate Campsite Before Dying by Apparent Suicide: Authorities

Anthony Orlando Sherwin

Anthony Orlando Sherwin

A camper apparently killed three others and then himself, authorities in Iowa say. Investigators identified the late suspect as Anthony Orlando Sherwin, 23.

According to authorities, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation were told at 6:23 a.m. on Friday of a triple homicide at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground.

“Officers located three deceased bodies. Officers later found that a camper was unaccounted for,” authorities said.

Authorities said they found Sherwin dead west of the park. He appeared to have shot himself, they said. This was a heavily wooded area, DCI Assistant Director Mitch Mortvedt told Law&Crime on the phone.

“There was an emergency situation this morning at the Maquoketa Caves,” nearby Camp Shalom Inc. said. “We evacuated camp as soon as we learned about it. All campers and staff are safe and accounted for in town at Little Bear Park, where we will do closing worship and pickup at the usual 11am time. Please pass this along!”

Officers said there is no danger to the public. Mortvedt said that after finding the first three bodies, the initial phase of the investigation was focused on finding who was responsible. They did not immediately know if the missing Sherwin was a suspect. Now that authorities found Sherwin dead and named him as the suspect, they are working to identify the victims and determine why all of this took place.

Mortvedt did not suggest a motive. While Sherwin belonged to one campsite, the three victims belonged to another, he added. It was unclear if these killings were random or if Sherwin and the victims knew one another, Mortvedt said.

[Image via Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation]

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