Authorities identify man found dead at Devil’s Lake State Park

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BARABOO, Wis. — Authorities have identified the man found dead Wednesday morning at Devil’s Lake State Park.

John Craig Schmutzer, 24, of Wauwatosa, died from  injuries sustained in a stabbing, according to the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office.

On Thursday, Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister said his department was investigating Schmutzer’s death as a homicide.

His body was found along the Grottos Trail at the park around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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Authorities are searching for a man in connection to this death. They described the suspect as between 5 feet 10 inches and six foot tall. He was spotted wearing a dark colored head and face coverings. There are no photos of the suspect at this time. He was spotted walking west on the Grottos Trail toward the south shore parking lot.

Meister said it’s unclear right now if this was a targeted incident. Investigators have learned that prior to this incident, Schmutzer spent time Hilldale Mall in Madison, Wildcat Mountain State Park in Vernon County and in the LaValle area.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison said Schmutzer was a 2018 graduate majoring in finance.

“Our hearts go out to his family and friends on this tragic loss,” said UW-Madison spokesperson Meredith McGlone.

Schmutzer was also an employee at BMO Harris Bank.

“John Schmutzer was a highly respected and very popular member of our team at BMO, and we are deeply saddened by the news of his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time,” said Dave Anderson, Managing Director of Commercial Banking at BMO Harris Bank.

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Detectives are asking for the public’s help in this case. Anyone who was at Devil’s Lake State Park on Wednesday morning or has information about the incident are asked to call the Sauk County Crime Stoppers tip line at  888-847-7285.

Most details of the investigation will be kept confidential until is conclusion, Meister said.