‘This is our highest priority case’: Sauk County Sheriff’s Office still asking for tips regarding Devil’s Lake Homicide

BARABOO, Wis. – The Sauk County Sheriff’s Office says it is still in need of tips regarding the stabbing death of 24-year-old John Craig Schmutzer at Devils Lake State Park.

The Wauwatosa native was found along the Grottos Trail at the park around 11:30 a.m. on Oct 14.

“This is our highest priority case,” said Lt. Chris Zunker of the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office. “We have between 8 and 10 detectives working on this daily… That’s my entire staff, plus a member of the Wisconsin DNR.”

Zunker said the Sherriff’s Office is currently working through 80 tips they’ve gotten in the last 8 days, but are still in need of any help they can get from the public.

“Any information that anyone in the public has that they think is relevant or may be relevant to this case,” Zunker said. Tips can be sent to the Sauk County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-847-7285.

“If they were on the south shore of Devils Lake in the morning of last Wednesday and think they saw something that might be relevant to this case or investigation, or if they know our victim and have any information that may be relevant to the investigation, we would love to hear from those folks,” Zunker said.

Zunker says until the Sheriff’s Office can positively identify a suspect, they won’t be releasing a description of the alleged murderer.

“We would simply muddy the waters if we provide a description we’re not 100 percent sure on,” he said.

In the meantime, he’s asking anyone who chooses to visit Devils Lake to be aware of their surroundings.

“If you see something suspicious, say something,” he said.