FDLE Facebook Post Details 1974 Cold Case
By Space Coast Daily // April 29, 2014
Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement REOPENS CASE
DNA Technology, and a $10,000 reward, revives interest in a 39-year old Cold Case that includes intrigue, drug-dealing and murder.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement posted a Facebook post notification asking for information that could help investigators learn more about the murder of James Norris, a man who flew to Florida from California with a bundle of money seeking to buy high-quality marijuana, but who instead found death.
With news of a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons involved in that homicide, FDLE agents and county deputies put up posters in stores all over Florida, with hopes of learning what happened to Norris on or about that fateful day, October 4, 1974.
That morning Norris, under the name of Richard Gunning, arrived from San Francisco on a flight to Miami. On the same day he travelled north to Citrus County where he had contacts with individuals in the marijuana trade.
On the same day a postcard from Norris was sent from the coastal fishing town of Inglis, off U.S. 19 in Levy County on the border with Citrus County.
His friends and family, from that day, heard no more from him.
DNA TECHNOLOGY ID’S REMAINS
It wasn’t until April 16, 1976, that human remains were uncovered by a bulldozer operator pushing through a wooded area off U.S. 19 in northern Dixie County near the Taylor County line.
The remains remained unidentified until FDLE Special Agent David Wilson (now Special Agent Supervisor) recognized that recent advances in DNA testing might yield some positive results identifying those remains. DNA from those bones matched DNA that Norris’ family had provided.
Finally, Norris’s family knew that James was dead. In April 2011, Norris’ family members flew to Florida to claim his remains. An active homicide investigation was begun.