Sauk Co. officials will provide 1-year update on Devil’s Lake homicide

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 3:41 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Sauk County officials will provide an update on the homicide that took place a year ago this Thursday at Devil’s Lake State Park.

The Sauk County Sheriff’s Office states its agency and the state Department of Natural Resources will meet at 1 p.m. Thursday at the park to recap the case and update the community.

John Schmutzer, 24, was found on the morning of Oct. 14, 2020 near the Grottos trail on the south side of the park, outside of Baraboo. Authorities say the victim was found bleeding on the railroad tracks in the park. An autopsy indicated he died as the result of a stabbing.

The sheriff’s office last provided an update in May, saying the public has given information about people authorities needed to speak with about the case. However, they were still searching for a suspect.

Witnesses in the area of South Lake Road near the Group Camp and CCC Trail and along the East Bluff Trail told authorities that a man was running north from the parking lot at the group camp “frantically” and “out of control.”

They described this person as around 6-feet tall and with a slender to average build. He was believed to be wearing darker colored pants with ripped knees, a dark colored top and possibly wearing a hoodie. Witnesses described the clothing to police as “not standard running apparel.”

The Sauk Co. Sheriff’s Office stated this individual is a person of interest, but they still needed the public’s assistance in receiving more information.

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