Authorities Seek Public's Help In Unsolved Cumberland County Murder
Posted June 11, 2003 4:20 a.m. EDT
CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities in Cumberland County are working on an unsolved murder that has them puzzled.
Faye Ellis will never forget the day her worst fears came true. Her 39-year-old daughter, Janet Norris, was murdered.
"I couldn't think. It was just horrible," she said.
Her body was found in the trunk of her own car in a wooded area off U.S. 301. Fourteen months after her death, no one is charged.
"It's just hard not knowing," Ellis said.
Detectives believe Norris was suffocated with a pillow at her home then driven to the wooded area. But even with two crime scenes, there is almost no physical evidence. Investigators said they have worked tirelessly to break the case.
"The whole case file is ready, minus an arrest," Detective Sgt. Charlie Disponzio said.
Authorities say the mother of two was not your typical crime victim.
"There's no drug history. She wasn't into stolen property, no alcohol, not a streetwalker," Disponzio said.
From the start, her on-again, off-again boyfriend has been a suspect. Detectives said they have plenty of circumstantial evidence against him, but they said they need more. Investigators and the family believe someone knows something that can crack this case.
Until an arrest is made, Norris' family said she cannot rest in peace and they cannot live with the notion that the person who killed her will not pay for the crime.
"It's like you can't go back and you can't go forward, and you are just stuck here waiting for something to happen," said Robin Varneau, Norris' sister.
Anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest in the murder case could get a $5,000 reward.