Shelter director, veterinarian, herpetologist, lepidopterist
Sharing concern for animals and dedication to helping animals in a variety of ways, Karly Cantrell, Andrea Kelly, William H. “Marty” Martin, and Sarah Schmidt also shared recent shocking deaths.
Two died by murders, one by her own hand, and one apparently through simple bad luck.
Karly Cantrell, 44, of Middletown, Idaho, executive director of the West Valley Humane Society in Caldwell, Idaho, was on October 10, 2022 found stabbed to death in the home she shared with her husband Kevin Kline, who discovered her remains, and three sons, two of whom had become concerned when she did not respond to their telephone calls from high school.
Descriptions of her body suggested that she might also have been victim of an attempted scalping.
Her fourth and eldest son, Levi Isaac Davis, 26, was charged with second degree homicide, possibly to be upgraded to first degree homicide pending further investigation.
Levi Isaac Davis, arrested at a halfway house in possession of a bloodstained car and clothing, was additionally charged with a parole violation.
His bail was set at $5 million.
Davis, according to an arrest affidavit, had recently been evicted from the family home by Cantrell and Kline for “poor behavior.”
Davis reportedly suffered a “deep laceration” on his upper right thigh and a cut across his left hand while allegedly committing the murder.
West Valley Humane Society’s board president Tammy Dittenber and humane society staff praised Cantrell to CBS2 News Staff as “a kind, compassionate and empathetic friend, mother, wife, grandmother and daughter” who “had a way of bringing people into the organization, collaborating with them, and empowering her staff.”
“Karly originally started at the shelter,” initially as an animal care volunteer, “back when it was owned by the county,” said director of shelter programs Brittany Sundell. “She was a sheriff’s deputy in the shelter as part of that process. When the shelter became a private nonprofit, she stayed with the sheriff’s office and continued as a deputy. She did work at the jail for many years as a deputy, and then later was elected executive director.”
Veterinarian Andrea Kelly, 36, on July 31, 2022 became arguably the highest profile veterinary suicide yet in Canada, where––as in the U.S.––a rising veterinary suicide rate has drawn increasing public and professional notice.
Kelly left her fiancé of many years, Marc Alarie, an actor and sales professional, with whom she owned a home and had traveled extensively abroad. They shared a large extended family and many friends, especially involved with horses and with paddling, canoeing, and kayaking,
An equine specialist based in Kemptville, Ontario, Kelly practiced both in the capital region of Ontario, near Pontiac and Ottawa, and across the Ottawa River in western Quebec, where she was among the few equine veterinarians available to respond to on-the-farm emergencies.
After graduating from the Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, Kelly worked at the Ottawa Veterinary Hospital and for a variety of equine clinics before purchasing the Ottawa Valley Large Animal Clinic from Larry Butler, DVM, in 2018.
Kelly’s sister Erin mentioned to Rachel Watts of CBC News that Kelly had been unable to find a veterinary practice partner.
Alarie recalled to Watts “a vivid memory of bumping into Kelly at a grocery store not long after their first date.”
Said Alarie, “She was wearing her overalls, she had stains on it, her hair was everywhere and she smelled like a barn, so she was a little shy. But when I saw her she was still beautiful and real.”
William H. “Marty” Martin
William H. “Marty” Martin, 80, considered perhaps the world’s leading experts on reclusive and rare timber rattles, having studied them since childhood, died on August 3, 2022 after suffering a bite from a wild timber rattler on his own property in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, his wife Renee Martin told investigators.
Joe Villari, manager of the Bull Run Mountains Preserve in northern Virginia, testified that even at his advanced age, Martin often hiked steep slopes to monitor timber rattler populations in remote areas.
Martin had survived at least one previous bite, but University of Minnesota toxicology professor Dan Keyler, a snakebite specialist, explained to media that a second snakebite is often more deadly than a first bite, that rattlesnakes grow more dangerous as they increase in size, becoming able to inject more venom, and that older people tend to be more susceptible to snakebites.
Recalled Outreach for Animals founder Tim Harrison, “Keith Gad, Rus Muntz, and I were honored to be able to interview and film Marty as he introduced us to his secret world of timber rattlesnakes in the beautiful mountains of Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
“We are blessed that he enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed his,” Harrison said, “also that he didn’t leave us and disappear into the forest like he did with other film crews when he got bored.
“People call people who are the best at what they do ‘goats,’” short for Greatest Of All of Them, Harrison added. “Marty was the best, but he also ran up, down and across the mountains like a goat!”
Monarch butterfly researcher and public librarian Sarah Schmidt, 42, her husband Tyler Schmidt, also 42, and their six-year-old daughter Lula were murdered in their tent at approximately 6:20 a.m. on July 22, 2022 while camping at Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground, forty miles east of their home in Cedar Rapids.
The small community of monarch butterfly researchers and conservationists has been repeatedly shocked by murder in recent years.
Notably, Mexican monarch conservationists Homero Gómez González, 50, and Raúl Hernández Romero, 44, were found beaten to death, stabbed, and drowned on January 29, 2020 and February 1, 2020, respectively, at the El Rosario butterfly preserve in Michoacan state, Mexico, after repeated conflicts with log poachers working within the preserve.
But investigators have discovered no motive for the massacre of the Schmidt family.
Anthony Sherwin, 23, camping with his parents about 75 yards away, apparently shot Tyler Schmidt and Lula Schmidt, stabbed both Tyler and Sarah Schmidt, and strangled Lula Schmidt, while nine-year-old Arlo Schmidt escaped the tent and ran––ironically––to the Sherwin family tent seeking help.
Sheriff’s deputies and park rangers found Anthony Sherwin dead nearby of a self-inflicted wound from a so-called “ghost gun,” from which the serial number had been removed.
Anthony Sherwin had no previous criminal record and left no note of explanation for his actions.
The Schmidt family lived in Lawrence, Kansas from 2002 to 2018, where Sarah Schmidt worked at Monarch Watch, establishing her credentials as a lepidopterist, and was a graduate student in biology at Kansas University.
Tyler Schmidt had worked in finance and engineering.