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Sauk County investigators hopeful they are close to finding Devils Lake homicide suspect

John Schmutzer
Posted at 8:03 AM, May 20, 2021

It's been more than seven months since a Wauwatosa man was killed at Wisconsin's most popular state park.

Sauk County investigators are hopeful they are close to finding John Schmutzer's killer.

Schmutzer's body was found in October along a trail in Devils Lake State Park, after what was believed to be a random attack.

Detectives have developed a "person of interest" observed running near the scene.

Witnesses told detectives that the person of interest was about six feet tall, slender to average build, with darker-colored pants with ripped out knees, and a dark-colored top, possibly a hoodie. The clothing was described as “not standard running apparel," according to the office.

"We have at least 15 witnesses that saw this person," said Sauk County Detective Lt. Christopher Zunker. "Dark clothing, mask, potential hoodie or hat, ripped out black pants of some sort... scared or uneasy."

The office said during a Nov. 11 press briefing that the suspect may be acting unusual, nervous, and displaying emotions and habits of someone dealing with the trauma of killing another person.

If you were at or in the vicinity of Devils Lake State Park on Oct. 14, 2020 at any time, you are asked to call Sauk County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-847-7285. You can also email tips to or by text by texting “tipsauk” to 274637.

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