UPDATE (May 6, 2019 2:58 p.m.):

More than 33 years after the murder of Karen Ann Norton during what was believed to be a burglary at the time, a Grand Jury has indicted her then-husband, John Joseph Norton, on first degree murder charges.

Booking photo of John Joseph NortonThe case went cold following the initial investigation into her murder in her home in the 100 block of Delrey Avenue in Catonsville on December 17, 1985. Karen Norton was just 23-years-old when she suffered a fatal stab wound to the upper body shortly after returning home from work that evening.  

The initial investigation led police to believe that she was killed by an unknown suspect during a burglary, but as the case has continued to be worked by detectives through the years they began to narrow in on her husband, John Norton, as the primary suspect. Recent developments in the case have uncovered new evidence that further supported that theory, and the case was brought before the Grand Jury on Wednesday, May 1. After hearing the evidence, an indictment was issued and detectives served Norton with a warrant for his arrest that evening. 

Norton now remains held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center pending trial.

Visit the Baltimore County Unsolved Homicide Cases page on our website for information regarding other cold cases.

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Original Unsolved Homicide Release:

On December 17, 1985, Karen Ann Norton was murdered in her home in the 100 block of Delrey Avenue 21228. She had just arrived home from work at approximately 6:45 p.m. when she was attacked and killed.

Mrs. Norton, a newlywed at the time, worked at JCPenney in Security Square Mall. Although there was evidence of a breaking and entering, police believe this was staged to thwart the homicide investigation.

Reward Offered

Metro Crime Stoppers, an organization that is separate from the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Government, offers rewards for information in connection with felony offenses. Anonymous tips can be sent to Metro Crime Stoppers by phone, text message or online.

Phone: 1-866-7LOCKUP

Text message: Text "MCS" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637)

Web tip: www.metrocrimestoppers.org