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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: cold case

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

A DNA sample taken from the remains of former priest A. Joseph Maskell does not match DNA from the murder scene of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik.

The Baltimore County Police Department on Wednesday received results from an accredited laboratory excluding Maskell as a contributor to DNA preserved from the crime scene.

Baltimore County Police detectives, who have been trying to solve the nun’s murder for nearly 50 years, exhumed Maskell’s body on February 28, 2017 to compare Maskell’s DNA to evidence from the crime scene.

A sample of Maskell’s remains was sent to Bode Cellmark Forensics in Lorton, VA for development of a DNA profile. (External analysis of solid evidence for DNA profiling is standard procedure; BCoPD’s in-house laboratory is used only for biological fluids.) This profile was compared with the crime scene evidence.

Maskell is not the first suspect whose DNA has been compared to the crime scene sample. Over the years, BCoPD detectives have developed DNA profiles of about a half-dozen suspects and compared them against the crime scene evidence. None of these suspects’ profiles have matched.

Also, the DNA profile from the crime scene evidence was placed into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System as soon as it was developed. There have been no matches of the Cesnik crime scene DNA profile with any DNA profile from the national database.

The fact that the DNA profiles of the various suspects have not matched the crime scene evidence does not necessarily exonerate them; it means only that the DNA technology available at this time has not provided evidence of a physical link to the crime scene.

Police Still Seek Leads

Homicide detectives say the negative results from the Maskell DNA profile comparison mean that their best hope for solving the case now lies with people who are still alive and willing to come forward with conclusive information about the murder.

Sister Cesnik’s body was found in a Lansdowne dumping area in January 1970. She was last seen at her Baltimore City apartment just before leaving to run errands in the Edmondson Village area. A fact sheet about the case is available on our web site.

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

UPDATE (November 22, 2016  1:19 a.m.):

Metro Crime Stoppers has announced an increased reward of $15,000 for this case. For more information, go to the Metro Crime Stoppers website.

Just before 3 p.m. on February 14, 2009, Baltimore County Police responded to an apartment in the 7000 Block of Lachlan Circle 21239 for a cardiac arrest. When officers arrived at the scene, they found 22-year-old Daniel Ho Coverston suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was declared deceased at the scene.

Baltimore County Police Homicide Detectives have conducted a thorough investigation into this incident but have not been able to develop any information that positively identified a suspect.

Anyone with information on this case can submit a tip to Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP. For more information on other ways to contact Metro Crime Stoppers as well as information on rewards offered by or through them, check their website at www.metrocrimestoppers.org. Metro Crime Stoppers is an organization that is separate from the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Government.

UPDATE (November 10, 2016  8:44 a.m.):

Metro Crime Stoppers has announced an increased reward on this case. For more information, go to the Metro Crime Stoppers website.

Anyone with information on this case can submit a tip to Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP. For more information on other ways to contact Metro Crime Stoppers as well as information on rewards offered by or through them, check their website at www.metrocrimestoppers.org. Metro Crime Stoppers is an organization that is separate from the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Government.

UPDATE (October 26, 2016  8:43 a.m.):

Just before 3 p.m. on February 14, 2009, Baltimore County Police responded to an apartment in the 7000 Block of Lachlan Circle 21239 for a cardiac arrest. When officers arrived at the scene, they found 22-year-old Daniel Ho Coverston suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was declared deceased at the scene.

Baltimore County Police Homicide Detectives have conducted a thorough investigation into this incident but have not been able to develop any information that positively identified a suspect.

Metro Crime Stoppers Increases Reward

The Metro Crime Stoppers Reward for this case is now up to $4112 (includes the private reward of $2112 for the arrest and conviction and the up to $2000.00 reward offered by Metro Crime Stoppers for the arrest and charges filed in the case). Your tip must be made through Metro Crime Stoppers in order to be eligible. More information is on the Metro Crime Stoppers website.

If you have information on the below crime/suspect please call, text, or e-mail: Metro Crime Stoppers hotline available 24-hours a day toll free.

You can remain anonymous.

Phone: 1-866-7LOCKUP

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

Web tip: www.metrocrimestoppers.org

UPDATE (August 5, 2016  8:29 a.m.):

The Metro Crime Stoppers Reward for this case is now up to $3612 (includes the private reward of $1612 for the arrest and conviction and the up to $2000.00 reward offered by Metro Crime Stoppers for the arrest and charges filed in the case). More information is on the Metro Crime Stoppers website.

If you have information on the below crime/suspect please call, text, or e-mail: Metro Crime Stoppers hotline available 24-hours a day toll free.

You can remain anonymous.

Phone: 1-866-7LOCKUP

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

Web tip: www.metrocrimestoppers.org

Original release (September 9, 2015  9:16 a.m.):

Baltimore County Police are seeking the public’s assistance in obtaining information on the 2009 death of a Glenmont man.

Just before 3 p.m. on February 14, 2009, Baltimore County Police responded to an apartment in the 7000 Block of Lachlan Circle 21239 for a cardiac arrest. When officers arrived at the scene, they found 22-year-old Daniel Ho Coverston suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was declared deceased at the scene.

A witness told police that he had come to the location to check on Coverston because Coverston recently had surgery. There was no answer at the door, but the door was unlocked so he went inside where he found Coverston unresponsive.

Baltimore County Police Homicide Detectives have conducted a thorough investigation into this incident but have not been able to develop any information that positively identified a suspect. They are now turning to the public for help.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

Picture of Daniel Ho Coverston

    

  

 

  

 

Callers to Metro Crime Stoppers

If your tip to the Metro Crime Stoppers hotline leads to the arrest and/or indictment of a suspect, for a felony crime, you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000 from Metro Crime Stoppers. Your tip must be made through Metro Crime Stoppers in order to be eligible.

If you have information on the above crime/suspect please call, text, or e-mail: Metro Crime Stoppers hotline available 24-hours a day toll free.

You can remain anonymous.

Phone: 1-866-7LOCKUP

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

Web tip: www.metrocrimestoppers.org

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017