The Delaware State Police Homicide Unit has arrested a Dover woman in connection with abusing her son’s corpse.


The Delaware State Police Homicide Unit has arrested a Dover woman in connection with abusing her son’s corpse.

Detectives began an investigation into a missing child complaint on July 9 after receiving information from Delaware Department of Health and Social Services' Division of Family Services that a pregnant woman was no longer pregnant and her 2-year-old child was missing, Delaware State Police Cpl. Gary E. Fournier said.

Detectives made contact with a relative of the homeowner living in the unit block of Squire Circle in Royal Grant Development after she had growing concerns that a Karen N. Hooks, who was living at the residence, was due to give birth in June but the baby was nowhere to be found.  The female was also concerned about Hooks’ two year old son because she had not seen him since August of 2011.

On July 13, Hooks told investigators that her son, Justice, was in the care of a female friend in Smyrna. Hooks also denied the fact that she was ever pregnant, Fournier said.

Through the investigation, detectives were unable to verify Hooks’ story and due to the concerns for the welfare of the child, obtained a search warrant on July 25 for the house on Squire Circle, he said. During the search, a suspiciously wrapped package was located in a storage area shared by Hooks and another female roommate. 

The contents, which appeared to be human remains, were removed by the Medical Examiner’s Office and transported to Georgetown where they were examined.  A post-mortem was performed and it was determined that the remains were of a male child at least 1 year of age.

Hooks was arrested and taken back to Troop 3 where she was arraigned at Justice of the Peace No. 2 on the charge of Abusing a Corpse. She was initially committed to WCI  in lieu of $1,000 cash bail.

A Bail Review Hearing and Arraignment was then held Friday in the Delaware Court of Common Pleas before Judge Charles Welch for Hooks on the abuse of a corpse charge, Delaware Department of Justice spokesman Jason Miller said. Her attorney, the Kent County Public Defender’s office, waived the reading of charges entered a plea of not guilty.  

The Attorney General’s Office sought an increase in bail to $100,000 cash and the request was approved by the judge.  Hooks remains incarcerated.

Homicide Detectives and the Medical Examiner’s Office are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the child.  Additional charges are possible based on the results of the investigation.