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Two of the four people fatally beaten with a metal pipe in rural Linn County last week were displaced from their homes and living in the outbuilding of the property where the attack took place, according to a friend.

Amber Sangalli said Amanda Sue Parker, 33, and her boyfriend Romandus “Roe” Lamar Cooper, 44, were evicted from their apartment last summer and moved into the annex at 3699 East Otter Road near Marion about two months later.

Investigators and police vehicles surround an outbuilding where three people were found dead earlier in the day in the 3600 block of East Otter Road in rural Marion on June 5. A fourth person was flown to a hospital by helicopter in critical condition and died Friday. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Investigators and police vehicles surround an outbuilding where three people were found dead earlier in the day in the 3600 block of East Otter Road in rural Marion on June 5. A fourth person was flown to a hospital by helicopter in critical condition and died Friday. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Sangalli became friends with Parker when they started working as waitresses at the Olde Brick House Pub in Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids last year. She drove Parker to work because the couple’s car broke down and it was difficult for Parker to get around.

Sangalli said Parker was “kind-hearted, generous and hardworking.” She was always busy and was always the first to help others when she had time during her shift.

She said Parker and Cooper struggled to make a living and had been living in a tent in the outbuilding for nearly a year. They also had two dogs.

Amanda Sue Parker (photo provided)

Amanda Sue Parker (photo provided)

The outbuilding and property belong to Lon Brown, the father of 34-year-old Brent Brown, who was also attacked on June 5 and died Friday from head and neck injuries. Lon Brown told the Gazette last Thursday that test results showed his son had no brain activity.

Linn County Sheriff’s officers arrived at the property shortly before 4 p.m. on June 5. after a witness discovered four people with bleeding head wounds in the adjacent building, according to a criminal complaint.

All of the victims – Parker, Cooper, Brent Brown and Keonna Victoria Ryan, 26, of Cedar Rapids – suffered blunt force injuries to the head, the complaint states.

The suspect in the quadruple murder, Luke Wade Truesdell, 34, told officers he beat the four to death with a metal pipe. The pipe, which had blood and hair on it, was collected by investigators. Video surveillance captured images of Truesdell near the outbuilding, the complaint states.

Sangalli said she did not know how Parker and Cooper knew Lon Brown or how they came to live on his property, but she learned from Parker that Brent Brown and Ryan were in a relationship.

Both Sangalli and Parker also worked at a Subway restaurant. On the day of the murders, Parker had replaced Sangalli around noon, who had to go to her grandson’s birthday party.

Parker arrived four hours late for his shift, but that was not unusual given Parker’s transportation issues, Sangalli said. The two had agreed to have lunch together the next day.

Sangalli said Parker had left work at Subway about an hour and a half before the fatal attack.

When Sangalli picked Parker up at the outhouse, there were always several people in the area working on vehicles. However, she said she never saw Truesdell there and did not know him.

Sangalli said she started an online fundraiser at gofundme.com to help Parker’s family with the costs of her funeral. As of Tuesday morning, donors have contributed $9,905.

Truesdell remains in the Linn County Jail on $4 million cash bail. He was charged Monday with fourth-count first-degree murder in the death of Brent Brown.

Luke Wade Truesdell, 34. (Linn County Sheriff's Office)

Luke Wade Truesdell, 34. (Linn County Sheriff’s Office)

One complaint said Truesdell gave “multiple motives,” including that he believed a movie was being made about the murders. The other motives were not mentioned in the complaint.

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner declined to provide further details about how the fatal attacks occurred or whether Truesdell knew the four dead men.

Both Gardner and Linn County District Attorney Nick Maybanks said it was an ongoing investigation and no further details would be released.

The Gazette attempted to contact other family members besides Lon Brown, but they did not respond or declined to comment.

This is the first quadruple homicide case in Linn County, according to the Linn County District Attorney’s Office. It follows two triple homicides – one by Alexander Jackson in 2021 and another by Bruce Ferris in 1982, prosecutors said.

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