DNA helps crack a 1983 rape case in Florida

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The attack happened on August 22, 1983, in the victim’s home in Coral Springs. The woman was in her bedroom about 6 a.m. when a man held a steak knife to her neck, CNN affiliate WPEC reported. When she screamed, he told her to shut up. “I have loved you for months,” he told her after the rape.

At the time, the suspect was described as a slender white male with brown hair, a strong cologne and a heavy Southern accent, said Officer Tyler Reik, a spokesman for the Coral Springs Police Department.

DNA collected at the scene was later sent to a crime lab, but the technology available at the time did not identify a suspect, police said Friday.

The case went cold — until the victim reached out to the police in March after she saw stories of how investigators are using DNA to solve cases.

Investigators reviewing evidence as part of a cold case initiative sent some items to the Broward Sheriff’s Office crime lab for processing using updated technology. On June 27, detectives determined a DNA sample from the victim’s clothing belonged to convicted criminal Timothy Norris, police said.

Norris, who is serving a federal sentence in West Virginia for armed bank robbery, has been charged with sexual battery with a weapon and is awaiting extradition to Florida.

Suspect has prior assault arrests

The 60-year-old has prior arrests for aggravated assault, assault on a female and kidnapping, authorities said.

This is not the first time Coral Springs police have solved a cold case with updated DNA technology. Earlier this year, they arrested a man who allegedly broke into a woman’s house in the 1980s wearing a ski-mask, put a gloved hand over her face and raped her, the affiliate reported. That man is in jail awaiting trial.

Coral Springs is about 50 miles from Miami.

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