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
- 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.
When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation established a Cold Case Unit in late 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 the cases where progress already was being made. They also follow up on any new leads provided in these cases.
All three murders remain unsolved.
- Courtesy photo findagrave.com
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 information about this unsolved triple murder, 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.
- 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,” Ottumwa Courier, Jan. 6, 2007
- “Calm Returns to Triple Murder Site,” Oelwein Daily Register, April 16, 1985
- “Probe of triple slaying continues,” Waterloo Courier, June 5, 1984
- “Investigation continues in triple-murder case,” Oelwein Daily Register, June 5, 1984
- “No arrests,” Oelwein Daily Register, May 8, 1984
- “Murders over, town nervous,” Oelwein Daily Register, April 20, 1984
- “Investigate SE Iowa deaths,” Oelwein Daily Register, April 19, 1984
- “Mother killed,” Oelwein Daily Register, April 18, 1984
- “Find mother,” Oelwein Daily Register, April 17, 1984
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