24-year-old James Norris

Florida Department Of Law Enforcement Seeks Help In 1974 Cold Case Murder

24-year-old James Norris FDLE agents continue to pursue leads in the 1974 homicide of 24-year-old James Norris.  The case is believed to be one of the oldest active homicide cases in Florida and is Dixie County’s oldest case.
24-year-old James Norris

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Wednesday it is seeking help from the public in an investigation into the 1974 murder of a California man, whose remains were found in Dixie County.

The agency said the investigation into the death of 24-year-old James Norris is one of the oldest active murder cases in the state.

Norris, who lived in San Francisco, flew to Miami on Oct. 4, 1974, and used an alias. He was carrying a large amount of cash and planned to buy marijuana, the FDLE said in a news release Wednesday. Norris mailed a postcard to his family from Inglis but had no further contact.

A bulldozer operator found skeletal remains in 1976 off U.S. 19 in Dixie County, the FDLE said. The remains were unidentified for more than three decades but were sent to the University of North Texas for DNA testing.

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The university, in 2010, obtained a DNA profile, and it was ultimately matched with Norris’ family members, who had put their DNA on file with the California Department of Justice. After the remains were identified, authorities began the murder investigation.

“The investigation shows that Norris traveled to Citrus County, Florida to purchase marijuana from an organization operating in that county,” the FDLE news release said. “The investigation has uncovered the names of members of that organization.”

The Norris family has established a website, www.whokilledjamesnorris.com, which talks about the search for their loved one.

If you have information about the murder of James Norris, please contact FDLE Tallahassee at (800) 342-0820.

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