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Maquoketa Caves State Park reopens

The state park is opening back up for day use just six days after the fatal shooting of a Cedar Falls family. However, the campground will remain closed.

MAQUOKETA, Iowa — The Maquoketa Caves State Park is set to reopen on Thursday, less than one week after a man shot and killed a couple and their daughter in the campground.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources made the announcement Wednesday that the state park will be reopening for regular day use at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 28. 

However, the park's campground, where the shooting took place, will remain closed until further notice. Every camper who had a reservation through July 31 has been given a refund, according to the department.

Maquoketa Caves State Park closed on Friday, July 22 after a gunman, alleged to be 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin, shot and killed three members of the Schmidt family; 42-year-olds Luke and Sarah and their 6-year-old daughter, Lula

Their 9-year-old son Arlo managed to escape and survived the shooting. Authorities said Sherwin then went on to take his own life. 

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Iowa DNR is continuing to work with the Division of Criminal Investigations on the investigation, alongside local law enforcement and the Department of Public Safety.

A temporary memorial site honoring the Schmidts is being set up at the park's entrance sign near the Visitor Center. Anyone with camping-related questions is asked to send an email to iowa.stateparks@dnr.iowa.gov.

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