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Keyword: unsolved homicide

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.


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:

Original release (May 19, 2016  10:44 a.m.):

The Baltimore County Police Department seeks the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect in a homicide case from 1996.

On the morning of March 2, 1996, 23-year-old Joann “Jody” LeCornu was found deceased in her car in a parking lot on York Road. She had been shot once in the back. Despite an intensive investigation into the incident, LeCornu’s killer has not been positively identified.

Police know that LaCornu had been at the Mount Washington Tavern earlier that night. After leaving Mount Washington Tavern, she went to the Curb Shoppe Bar in the 5700 block of Falls Road 21209 where she purchased beer, and then drove to a parking lot in the 6300 block of York Road 21212.

While she was sitting in her car, the suspect approached the vehicle. It is not known exactly how long the suspect spent at the vehicle or if there was any interaction with LeCornu; but at some point, he shot LeCornu once. After being shot, LeCornu drove her vehicle to the Giant Food parking lot across the street. She drove around the lot and then stopped. The suspect had followed her and when the car stopped, he reached in, appeared to put the vehicle in park, and took something from the vehicle.

The suspect then got into a white BMW, drove south on York Road and turned left onto Walker Avenue.

The suspect is described as an African American male, mid-20s to early-30s, 5’10” to 6’01”, 200 to 220 pounds, wearing a green fatigue style coat.

Finger prints were lifted from inside and outside of LeCornu’s car. Initial record checks of the fingerprints were negative. Those prints are now going to be re-checked to see if there are any matches.

Detectives believe that the suspect would not have been able to keep the incident to himself. Over the past 20 years they believe that he likely told someone about it.

This case remains under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit.

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

Metro Crime Stoppers is offering a $32,000 reward in this case.

See the Metro Crime Stoppers website for more details:

Crime Scene Photograph of LeCornu's car

Another Crime Scene Photograph of LeCornu's Car

Vehicle That is Similar in Appearance to The Suspect Vehicle

Metro Crime Stoppers Flyer

Revised June 27, 2017