RI RI - Michelle Norris, 7, Central Falls, 26 May 1988

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Pettibon Junction, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. Pettibon Junction

    Pettibon Junction Active Member

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    Michelle Norris disappeared from the playground at Harold Hunt Elementary in Central Falls, Rhode Island on May 26, 1988. Her body was found four days later in the woods behind Brook Street.

    Central Falls is the next town over from the city of Pawtucket, where 10 year old Christine Cole was abducted in January of 1988. Both girls appear to have been kept for a time before being killed and their bodies disposed.

    These murders happened within six months of each other and are always spoken of in the same breath, although one wonders why, if the murders were related, the killer made a greater effort to conceal Cole's body while dumping Norris a stone's throw from where she was taken.

    Christine Cole thread:
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...tucket-6-January-1988&p=11693843#post11693843

    Article on Cole and Norris:
    https://stillunsolved.wordpress.com...o-young-girls-in-rhode-island/comment-page-1/
     


  2. Breezyflavor

    Breezyflavor New Member

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  3. Breezyflavor

    Breezyflavor New Member

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    BRUISED BODY IDENTIFIED AS 7-YEAR-OLD RHODE ISLAND GIRL

    CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. - Authorities confirmed yesterday that the nude and beaten body found Monday night was that of Michelle Norris, a 7-year-old girl who had disappeared from a schoolyard here four days ago.

    Authorities classified Michelle's death as a murder, bringing to five the number of young children who have died in the Providence area recently after being reported missing.

    Michelle died as the result of suffocation, according to Dr. Kristin Sweeny, deputy chief medical examiner.

    Throughout this crowded city of 22,000, located about five miles north of Providence, parents expressed shock that another child had died and said they were fearful because no suspect in Michelle's slaying had been captured.
    (Need to subscribe to get the full article...)
    https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-8064472.html
     
  4. Breezyflavor

    Breezyflavor New Member

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    Got the full article ;)

    Central Falls, RI -- June 1, 1988 -- Authorities confirmed that the nude and beaten body found was that of Michelle Norris, a 7-year-old girl who had disappeared from a schoolyard here four days ago.

    Authorities classified Michelle's death as a murder, bringing to five the number of young children who have died in the Providence area recently after being reported missing.

    Michelle died as the result of suffocation, according to Dr. Kristin Sweeny, deputy chief medical examiner.

    Throughout this crowded city of 22,000, located about five miles north of Providence, parents expressed shock that another child had died and said they were fearful because no suspect in Michelle's slaying had been captured.

    While police said that Michelle had been beaten, they would not say if the beating led to the girl's death.

    The state medical examiner's office in Providence said they had not determined a cause of death by late yesterday afternoon.

    Following an intensive search by local and State Police, firefighters, friends and family, Michelle's body was discovered at about 6 p.m.
    on the side of a hill in a desolate wooded area.

    Michelle's clothes were lying next to her and, according to family members who viewed photos of the body, she was dirty and badly bruised.

    The area where the body was found, located behind a dance hall on Brook Street, is a popular gathering spot for local youths, residents said.

    Michelle's father, William Darryl Norris, along with other volunteers, had searched the area earlier in the day. The hill is covered with trees and debris and slopes down to a swampy marsh.

    Family members and police said the girl vanished while playing in the school yard of the Capt. G. Harold Hunt Elementary School, where she was a first grader. Her body was discovered less than a half mile from the school.

    At the time of her disappearance, Michelle, along with two of her brothers, Billy, 9, and Nathan, 5, were living with their maternal grandmother, Margaret Tager on Kendall Street, about three houses away from the Hunt School.

    Michelle's parents, William, 26, and Julie Norris, 32, had separated recently, family members said.

    The state Department of Children and Their Families placed the children in the custody of Tager after determining that Julie Norris could not care for them because of an infection.

    A social worker was scheduled to visit the children for an evaluation the day after Michelle disappeared. Family members said Michelle was worried that the social worker would place her in foster care.

    George Tager, Michelle's uncle and godfather, said family members did not identify the body until the next morning. "It was a pretty hard scene," he said, standing outside the gray three-story, wood-frame home that has been owned by the Tagers for nearly three decades.

    Attorney General James O'Neil met with Central Falls Police Chief Robert Choquette for about 90 minutes. Throughout the day, as reporters milled about in front of the Central Falls Police Station, local police refused to comment.

    "In order not to hamper the investigation or any subsequent legal proceedings, no details will be released," Choquette said in a
    late-afternoon statement.

    Outside the police station, O'Neil also remained vague about the investigation, saying only that it involved dozens of officers from local and state police, as well as officials from the attorney general's office and the FBI.

    The FBI also investigated last year's disappearance of two Providence boys who were later found dead. "They have extensive experience in analyzing crime scenes," O'Neil said.

    Authorities said they had leads but would not elaborate. O'Neil would not say if police had suspects, only that authorities had questioned many people, including children, in the hopes of uncovering clues.

    Family members said they believe that Michelle was approached by someone she knew. "She was a mama's girl," Charles Tager said. "There's no way she would have walked off with a stranger."

    Julie Norris remained in seclusion most of the day inside her mother's house. "We're afraid of falling apart because we know if one of us does we all will," George Tager said.

    Meanwhile, outside the Hunt School, a large number of parents waited for children to be let out.

    "I've never seen so many people here, especially the fathers," said Albert Luciano, whose daughter, Rosemary, was Michelle's classmate. "People are scared for their kids."

    Since December, three boys and two girls have been found dead after disappearing from Rhode Island communities. Four of the deaths have been classified as murders and the fifth is currently labeled as a suspicious drowning.

    Two persons have been charged in three of the slayings.

    "It's not safe to be a kid around here," said Helen Ducette, the mother of a 10-year-old girl.

    Some parents said they are scheduling a meeting where they will discuss ways to protect their children. Others said they already keep as tight a leash on their children as possible.

    "I don't even let them out in the backyard by themselves," said one woman. "If I can't be there, then I put the dog out there. He won't let anyone near the kids."

    Outside the Hunt School parents quickly took their children away. Some were carrying a children's book about nightmares.

    "I'm going home and not letting her out until they arrest the guy who killed Michelle," said Maria Quintera. "It's sad that we are the ones who have to live like prisoners because of the crazies who are out there."

    There have been no arrests made.
     
  5. JusticeWillBeServed

    JusticeWillBeServed Well-Known Member

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    Cold Case Spotlight

    Mother Still Hurting for Answers in 1988 Murder of Daughter Michelle Norris

    [​IMG]
     
  6. BIC

    BIC Well-Known Member

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    I just finished watching Breaking Homicide, on ID, about poor little Michelle. It’s the first I’ve heard of this case, and it’s heartbreaking. I believe they are on to something, and I hope it results in an arrest.
     
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  7. watcher9

    watcher9 Well-Known Member

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    A rerun of this starts at midnight tonight for anyone wanting to tape it.

    ETA meaning right now.
     
  8. thenotebook

    thenotebook Active Member

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    I thought the Breaking Homicide show did a great job with this case. Lots of detail and thorough investigation. It sounds like they are on the right path and have momentum. Maybe this year we'll see an arrest.
     
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  9. 4SAM

    4SAM Kentucky - Texas - Kansas - Missouri

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    I enjoyed the in depth approach that they took. I hope that they will continue with some of the cold cases that we have here. Even if just mentioning a cold case, it will allow new eyes to take a look at a case and that might be all that is needed to solve these. So glad for shows like this.
     
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  10. jewelsmac

    jewelsmac No one really knows why anyone does anything

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    I learned about this case on Breaking Homicide as well. Although there was a sexual assault , there was no mention of a rape kit or DNA collected. I believe at one point the ex cop mentioned they didnt do DNA back then, or something like that. Does that mean it was not collected?
     
  11. rob525

    rob525 Well-Known Member

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    I just finished watching this episode ( recently got access to ID Discovery after a long time with no cable). This is the second case where they mentioned the "no DNA back then" but I thought police departments still collected and saved evidence such as semen samples etc. I was confused by this as well.

    Another thing that I always wonder about these shows ( and I understand they may take creative license with the presentation of the evidence). I am often watching and wondering " Why did the police not ask that question or follow that lead?" some of the questions are painfully obvious. ( Cold Justice is another that presents evidence as newly found that I find hard to believe the police did not uncover at the time of the original investigation.)
     
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  12. jewelsmac

    jewelsmac No one really knows why anyone does anything

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    Agreed. Some of these shows do make prior investigations look rather sad.
     
  13. rob525

    rob525 Well-Known Member

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    or down right incompentent. I watched a show about Linda Watsons murder along with the subsequent murders of her mothe and mother friend. The police work there was portrayed as atrocious. Also saw something about Marcia Trimble and evn though it was the 1970's the investigation ( as it was portrayed) was botched.
     
  14. MsGazette

    MsGazette Just call me Ms G

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  15. rob525

    rob525 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what to think about that article. It seems to completely ignore the other suspect in the case. Now I do know that some of these crime shows on TV may present facts in such a way as to support a pre- determined theory but, "Breaking Homicides" episode related to this case seemed to be pretty damning in the evidence against Joe Pelland ( even having his brother on tape saying he confessed.)
     
  16. CastlesBurning

    CastlesBurning Well-Known Member

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    Bumping for Michelle...it's now been 32 years.
     
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  17. Earth

    Earth Well-Known Member

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    Could Marc Karun be responsible? He murdered Kathleen Flynn in 1986. The cases are quite similar, as stated here on True Crime Diva. Michelle Norris: Murdered in 1988; Case still unsolved
    Karun was in prison on May 23rd and May 24th, but free on the day that Michelle was killed. the timeline is tight, but could it be possible?
     
  18. rob525

    rob525 Well-Known Member

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    It is possible I suppose but I agree the timeline would be tight. I definitely don't think Marc Karun committed only one murder. I still think the case against Joe Pelland is strong (unless there is new information that I may have missed)
     
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  19. Kell1

    Kell1 Verified law enforcement

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    Its often someone LE has already interviewed, their name usually pops up in some connection with the case, within the first week.
     
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