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Triple murder still a mystery


Posted By: Volunteer: Sherri
Date: 1/6/2022 at 09:27:19

Triple murder still a mystery

Courier area editor

The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation has eliminated several suspects, but still has some "strong suspects" in its on-going investigation of southeast Iowa's triple murder.

That word came Friday from Sam Swaim, special DCI agent in charge of this area. Wapello County Sheriff Bud Erwin says, however, that no arrests are imminent.

The body of Justin Hook Jr. of rural Drakesville was found April 13 near his burned-out mobile home. His mother, Sarah Link, of Farmington was found dead on April 16 near Eldon. Hook's girlfriend, Tina Marie Lade of Ottumwa, was found dead on April 18 in the same area as Link's.

All three died of "blunt, traumatic hear injuries," says State Medical Examiner Tom Bennett.

As of Monday, the DCI will have three agents working on the case locally. They'll remain "until we have nothing more to follow," Swaim says.

Gene Meyer, assistant director of the DCI, says three to seven agents at a time have worked on the case in Southern Iowa. The number varied every day, depending on need, he explains.

If the investigation has slowed down, Sheriff Erwin says it's because "in the beginning, you have a large number of leads to develop." As those are pursued, the number of leads increase, but they eventually taper off, he says.

Officials and relatives say the case is frustrating because it's still unresolved after 1 1/2 months.

"We tend to be frustrated after this length of time, believe me," Swaim commented. "But I wouldn't say we consider ourselves dead in the water. We're pursuing a lot of leads we've had for a long time. And each lead tendes to generate a new lead."

Sarah Link's mother, Mildred Michael of rural Selma, says she's "hopeful" the murderer or murderers will be caught.

But investigators have told relatives little, Michael says, adding, "It's best for us not to know." She says she tries to keep her mind off the murders by keeping busy.

But, she adds, "It's frustrating to think they haven't been able to catch up with anybody."

Sarah's sister - Elizabeth Stone of rural Douds - says she, too, is hopeful the case will be resolved, "but you never know."

Rex Link, Sarah's husband, declines to comment on the case. But Michael, his mother-in-law, says he plans to move back to La Harpe City, Ill., where his parents live and that he will have a moving sale on June 22.

Source: "Scrapbook 1981 - 1985", Pg. 193,
Keosauqua Public Library, Keosauqua, Van Buren Co., IA


Van Buren Documents maintained by Rich Lowe.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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