Drakesville in Davis County, IA
Justin Alfred Hook, Jr., 20
Sarah Lee Link, 41
Tina Marie Lade, 19
Drakesville, IA (Davis County)
Eldon, IA (Wapello County)
Case # 84-01854
April 13, 1984
UPDATE: DNA Links Executed Convict to 1984 Triple Murder
Andrew Six (Courtesy Iowa Dept. of Public Safety)
OTTUMWA, Iowa — In a news conference held Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 at the Wapello County’s Sheriff’s Office, authorities announced that Andrew Wessel Six was responsible for the murders of three people in southern Iowa in April of 1984.
Mike Motsinger, special agent in charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said new DNA evidence linked Andrew Six in the bludgeoning deaths of 20-year-old Justin Hook Jr., Hook’s fiancée, 19-year-old Tina Marie Lade, and Hook’s mother, 41-year-old Sarah Link.
Missouri authorities executed Six by lethal injection in 1997 for the 1987 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Kathy Allen. Six and his uncle kidnapped the girl from the Allen family’s trailer in Ottumwa, slit her throat and dumped her body in northern Missouri.
DNA from a pair of jeans was used to link Six to Iowa’s 1984 triple homicide.
Justin Hook (Courtesy IDPS)
On April 13, 1984, the Davis County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance with a death investigation in rural Drakesville, Iowa. A deceased male, later identified as Justin Hook, Jr., had been bludgeoned to death.
The following day, April 14, 1984, Hook’s mother, Sarah Link, was reported missing to law enforcement. On April 16, 1984, Link’s body was discovered in a farm field off of a gravel road in rural Eldon, Iowa in Wapello County. Motsinger said that based on evidence at the scene, it appeared Link had been taken to the area and subsequently beaten to death.
Tina Lade (Courtesy IDPS)
On April 18, 1984, Tina Lade was found in the same vicinity where Link’s body had been found. She, too, had been beaten to death. The killer used a blunt object to kill all three victims.
Police said footprints found near Lade and Link’s bodies shared the same tread pattern and appeared to be from the same person. The investigation at the time yielded no arrests.
In August 2011, the DCI Cold Case Unit, the Davis County Sheriff’s Office and the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office began a case review and in March 2012 re-submitted evidence to the DCI Criminalistics Laboratory for DNA analysis. Motsinger said the only DNA profile that matched was that of Andrew Wessel Six.
The DNA evidence had been recovered from inside Tina Lade’s jeans.
Sarah Link (Courtesy IDPS)
Even with the DNA match, Motsinger said officers had to go back over the whole case and re-interview people to ensure Six was responsible.
“Just because someone’s DNA is there, you can’t just rush to judgement so you have to start over and act like it’s a brand new case,” Motsinger said in Executed convict linked to 1984 triple homicide in southeast Iowa | TheGazette. “It’s a 30-year-old homicide and people move, change names, get married, pass away, so we had to do our due diligence as law enforcement officers to make sure everyone was interviewed and to follow up on every possible rumor out there so we could get to this point today to feel confident that Mr. Six was responsible for it.”
According to the Dept. of Public Safety’s Jan. 10 press release, Andrew Six was a suspect in the 1984 investigation, and had also been involved in some Ottumwa area burglaries. Six and Justin Hook had some type of issue over a vehicle purchase, though during an interview in 1984, Six denied knowing Tina Lade. Additional suspects — those involved in criminal activity that included Six — were interviewed in subsequent investigations.
Andrew Six was arrested in April 1987, along with his uncle Donald Petary. Both individuals were arrested for the abduction and murder of Kathy Allen from the Ottumwa area. Allen’s body was recovered in Schuyler County, Missouri. Six was convicted of Murder in the First Degree and sentenced to death.
Courtesy The Gazette
Andrew Six’s mugshot from the Missouri Department of Corrections
Prior to his execution, investigators attempted to re-interview Six regarding the Hook, Link, and Lade murders; Six refused to cooperate.
He was executed by lethal injection in Missouri in August 1997. Six’s uncle, Donald Petary, was also convicted of Murder in the First Degree of Kathy Allen. Petary died in prison in 1998.
Although Federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI remains committed to resolving Iowa’s cold cases, Motsinger said. The DCI will continue to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence. The DCI remains committed to the resolution of Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.
Questions may be directed to SAC Mike Motsinger at (515) 729-3706.
Courtesy KTVO TV
Courtesy photo Ottumwa Courier
The body of Justin Hook Jr. was discovered near the burned-out mobile home he occupied in rural Drakesville.
On Friday, April 13, 1984, the body of 20-year-old Justin Alfred Hook, Jr., was found outside near his burned-out mobile home in rural Drakesville in southeast Iowa. Firefighters discovered Hook’s body about 4:30 p.m. after they’d extinguished the fire.
Hook had been killed by blows to the head.
When police went to tell Hook’s mother — Sarah Link, 41, of Farmington — about her son’s death, they were unable to locate her.
The following Monday, April 16, a farmer found Mrs. Link’s body on a hilly wooded section of his land just north of Eldon. She, too, had died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Eldon in Wapello County, IA
Authorities then launched an intensive search for Hook’s fiancée, 19-year-old Tina Marie Lade of Ottumwa, to whom he’d recently become engaged. Hook had given her an engagement ring the previous week for her 19th birthday. Lade, however, also had gone missing.
Then on Wednesday, April 18, trained police dogs discovered Miss Lade’s body in a ravine about a half-mile from where Mrs. Link’s body was found. Lade had died from blows to the head as well.
Tina Marie Lade
Authorities believed all three victims were killed at about the same time, but the exact time and location of the slayings wasn’t known.
Eight Division of Criminal Investigation agents were sent to Wapello County to investigate the murders, and hundreds of leads followed.
Drakesville residents — who’d known Hook only casually — referred to him as “polite” and a “nice boy.”
One year after the murders and despite some initial “strong suspects,” then-Wapello County Sheriff Bud Erwin said there had been no new breaks and no new leads for months. Erwin said though police continued their investigation, so far they had been unable to determine a motive for the bludgeoning deaths.
No murder weapon was recovered, and tests showed no traces of drugs in the bodies.
Ottumwa in Wapello County
When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, the murders of Link, Lade, and Hook were three of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology. Although the Cold Case Unit closed down in December 2011 due to lack of funding, the DCI continues to investigate cases where they were making progress. They also follow up on any new leads provided in these cases.
Courtesy photo findagrave.com
Sarah Link is buried at Iowaville Cemetery at Selma in Van Buren County.
About Sarah Link
Sarah Lee (Carlisle) Link was born Jan. 8, 1943, at Fort Madison to Delbert and Mildred Jones Carlisle.
She was survived by her husband, Rex of Farmington; a daughter, Cynthia L. Moyes of Iowa City; two sons, James Hook of Ottumwa and John Crutcher at home; three stepsons, Steven, Anthony and Joshua Link of Quincy, Ill.; two grandsons; her mother and stepfather, Mildred and Joe Michael of Selma; a grandmother, Heldred Jones of Keosauqua; two sisters, Elizabeth Stone of Douds and Mary Jane Harem of Marshalltown; and two brothers, Paul Carlisle of Hermiston Ore., and Thomas Carlisle of Whittier, Calif. She was preceded in death by a son, Justin Alfred Hook, Jr.
Services were held Friday, April 20, 1984, at the Pedrick Funeral Home in Douds with the Rev. Charles Stevens of Burlington officiating. Sarah Link was buried in Iowaville Cemetery at Selma in Van Buren County.
Courtesy photo findagrave.com
Justin Hook’s body was discovered just three days after his 20th birthday. His funeral service was held the day after his mother’s body was found and the day before his fiancée’s body would be discovered.
Justin and Tina
Justin Alfred Hook, Jr., was born April 10, 1964, in Iowa City to Justin Hook, Sr., and Sarah Lee Link Hook. He spent most of his life in LaHarpe, Ill. He married Mary Kay Ponnies on Jan. 17, 1981. They divorced in February 1984.
He lived on Route 9 in Bloomfield, and had just become engaged to marry Tina Marie Lade of Ottumwa. The couple shared the same birthday — with Hook exactly one year older — and likely shared the same death date, despite the discrepancies in dates on their gravestones. (The exact date of death could not be determined.)
Hook’s survivors included a son, Justin David of Belleville, Ill.; his stepfather, Rex Link of Farmington; his father of Iowa City; a sister, Cynthia L. Moyes of Iowa City; two brothers, James Hook of Ottumwa and John Crutcher of Farmington; his grandparents, Mildred and Joe Michael of Selma and Clara Hook of Iowa City; and his great-grandmother, Hildred Jones of Keosauqua.
Courtesy photo findagrave.com
Tina Marie Lade and Justin Hook became engaged on their shared birthdays and were killed just 2-3 days later.
Services were held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, at the Pedrick Funeral Home at Douds with the Rev. Charles Stevens of Burlington officiating. He was buried in the Iowaville Cemetery at Selma.
Tina Marie Lade was buried in Fiedler Cemetery in Floris, Ia., in Wapello County.
If you have any further information about this (now solved) triple homicide, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office at (641) 684-4350.
- “Now-abandoned state cold case unit solved crimes,” by Jeff Reinitz, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier / Des Moines Register, Aug. 1, 2015
- “Iowa’s Cold Case Unit shut down in 2011,” by Jeff Reinitz, The Newton Daily News, Part of the GONE COLD: EXPLORING IOWA’S UNSOLVED MURDERS series, Tuesday, July 28, 2015
- “In 3 years, Cold Case Unit brought 2 unsolved murder cases to a close,” by Jeff Reinitz, The Waterloo Courier / Carroll Daily Times Herald, July 27, 2015
- “SPECIAL REPORT: Solving Cold Cases Part I,” KGAN-TV CBS 2, CBS2Iowa.com, Feb. 26, 2014
- “SPECIAL REPORT: Solving Cold Cases Part II,”, KGAN-TV CBS 2, CBS2Iowa.com, Feb. 26, 2014
- “1984 Triple Homicide Solved After 30 Years,” Iowa Department of Public Safety Press Release, Jan. 10, 2014
- “DNA reveals answers in 1984 murder,” by Mark Newman, The Ottumwa Courier, Jan. 10, 2014
- “DNA Links Executed Convict to 1984 Triple Murder in Southeast Iowa,” KCRG.com, Jan. 10, 2014
- “An Iowa cold case from 1984 is solved,” KCCI.com, Jan. 10, 2014
- “Executed convict linked to 1984 triple homicide in southeast Iowa,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Jan. 10, 2014
- “TRIPLE MURDER: DNA Linked To Executed Man,” WHOTV.com, Jan. 10, 2014
- Iowa Department of Public Safety / Division of Criminal Investigation Press Release, Jan. 9, 2014
- “Answers in 1984 slaying,” by Mark Newman, The Ottumwa Courier, Jan. 9, 2014
- “Authorities say 1984 triple homicide solved,” The Ottumwa Courier, Jan. 9, 2014
- “Possible Lead in Unsolved 1984 Triple Homicide,” The Ottumwa Post, Jan. 9, 2014
- “Authorities say they solved 30-year-old Iowa triple homicide cold case,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Jan. 9, 2014
- “COLD CASE: Officials Say 1984 Triple Murder Solved,” WHOTV.com, Jan. 9, 2014
- “1984 Triple Homicide Solved,” KGAN-TV CBS 2 Iowa, Jan. 9, 2014
- “1984 Triple Homicide Solved After Nearly 30 Years,” KCRG.com, Jan. 9, 2014
- “Officials: 1984 triple homicide has been solved,” KCCI.com, Jan. 9, 2014
- “Authorities find new information in 30-year-old cold case,” HeartlandConnection.com, Jan. 9, 2014
- “1984 triple homicide in southeast Iowa is solved,” The Des Moines Register, desmoinesregister.com, Jan. 9, 2014
- Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation: Justin Hook
- Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation: Sarah Link
- Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation: Tina Lade
- Wapello County Sheriff’s Office
- Find a Grave Memorial for Tina Lade
- Find a Grave Memorial for Justin Hook, Jr.
- Find a Grave Memorial for Sarah Lee Link
- “Searching for answers,” The Ottumwa Courier, Jan. 6, 2007
- “Calm Returns to Triple Murder Site,” The Oelwein Daily Register, April 16, 1985
- “Probe of triple slaying continues,” The Waterloo Courier, June 5, 1984
- “Investigation continues in triple-murder case,” The Oelwein Daily Register, June 5, 1984
- “No arrests,” The Oelwein Daily Register, May 8, 1984
- “Murders over, town nervous,” The Oelwein Daily Register, April 20, 1984
- “Investigate SE Iowa deaths,” The Oelwein Daily Register, April 19, 1984
- “Mother killed,” The Oelwein Daily Register, April 18, 1984
- “Find mother,” The Oelwein Daily Register, April 17, 1984
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