Karen Scarbrough was 17 years old when she was murdered alongside two other women, Sharon Lake and Deborah Frank. Their bodies were found inside a Ryland Homes mobile sales trailer in Dale City, Virginia, that was being used to distribute brochures to prospective home buyers.
At around 6:45 p.m. on June 24, 1978, John McCauley, a sales representative for the company, arrived at the Ryland Homes mobile sales trailer.
It was then that he noticed Karen’s mother waiting outside for her in a vehicle, the Prince William County Police Department reported.
Karen, of Fredericksburg, had recently graduated from Stafford High School and was working as a part-time hostess at Ryland Homes.
It was her first day on the job, according to The Westchester Evening Star.
Her position was temporary, as her employer hired the teen as a last-minute replacement, and they were contemplating whether or not they should bring her on full-time.
When McCaule walked inside the trailer, he encountered the bodies of Karen, Lake, and Frank on the floor.
Lake was 25 years old, and Frank was 23.
They were laying side-by-side and had been shot once in the back of the head in an execution-style murder.
In a news conference, Prince William Police Sgt. Harold Morgan stated that it “appeared as though they voluntarily laid down on the floor,” as there was no sign of a struggle.
Officials said a handgun was likely used in the killings.
McCauley told police officials that Karen’s job was to greet the customers and answer any questions they had.
This is more than likely how Karen came into contact with Lake and Frank, as they did not know the teen.
Morgan said Sharon Lake and Deborah Frank were close friends, and their husbands worked together at the Pentagon.
The Franks, of Alexandria, Virginia, were thinking about buying a home in Dale City. After they went grocery shopping, Frank and Lake opted to stop by the Ryland Homes mobile sales trailer to pick up a housing brochure.
Law enforcement officers aren’t precisely sure of the circumstances leading up to the Dale City triple homicide.
However, they believe that it is a possibility that the perpetrator entered the trailer and instructed the three ladies to lie on the floor before shooting them.
Another theory is that Lake and Frank could have walked in on an attempted burglary or witnessed someone murdering Karen.
More than four decades have passed, and no arrests have been made in connection with their deaths, leaving their case unsolved.
Anyone with information regarding the Dale City Triple murders of Karen Scarbrough, Sharon Lake, and Deborah Frank is encouraged to contact the Cold Case Unit at (703) 792-7279 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.