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Body found in lane is identified as missing wife


A woman found dead in a country lane in Humberside has been identified as the missing wife of a wealthy property owner who poisoned himself at his home four days after her body was discovered.

The body of Alena Link, 53, which was found by a farm worker near the village of Middleton-on-the-Wolds 10 days ago, was officially identified by her first husband, Robin Plaice, yesterday.

He had travelled to Hull with the couple's 19-year-old son, Joseph, to make the identification.

The body of Martin Link, 49, who owned six houses in Birmingham, was discovered by his stepson at his home in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Sunday. An inquest revealed he killed himself by drinking a mixture of lemonade and anti-freeze.

His death began a hunt for Mrs Link by West Midlands Police, after they learnt that she had not been seen at the couple's home in Pershore Road, Edgbaston, for two weeks.

West Midlands Police said Mrs Link, whose family had not reported her missing, was last seen alive by Joseph when they went swimming at the Edgbaston Priory Club nearly two weeks ago.

Police are still investigating her death and officers from the Humberside force were in Birmingham conducting inquiries yesterday. They have not yet established who killed her or where she died.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mrs Link had been beaten about the head with a heavy, blunt object.

Letters were found next to Mr Link's body. There were three notes addressed to his relatives, but none to his wife.

One of the notes was addressed to his 81-year-old father, who lives in Bridlington,Humberside, and the others to his stepson Joseph and Mr Plaice.

In the message to his father, Mr Link wrote of "something terrible having happened", and told him: "You will know soon enough."

The couple married in 1983 - seven years after the failure of Mrs Link's first marriage. It is known the couple had a rocky marriage and spent a month apart at Christmas.

Mr Link went to Leeds Grammar School before graduating from Queen's College, Oxford, with a first-class degree in chemistry. He held a pilot's licence and was an enthusiastic tennis and squash player.

Mrs Link, was a Quaker and had given up a career as an architect to take up painting and attend art school. She had dual British and Czech nationality.