1. News

DNA leads to arrest in another Florida rape case from 1980s

This undated photo provided by the Coral Springs (Fla.) Police Dept. Shows Timothy Norris. This undated photo provided by the Coral Spring (Fla.) Police Dept. show Frank Montana. [Associated Press]
This undated photo provided by the Coral Springs (Fla.) Police Dept. Shows Timothy Norris. This undated photo provided by the Coral Spring (Fla.) Police Dept. show Frank Montana. [Associated Press]
Published Aug. 19, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — For the second time in a year, authorities in a south Florida community have used DNA evidence to identify and arrest a suspect in a decades-old rape case.

Timothy Norris, 60, is charged in the knifepoint rape of a Florida woman at her home in 1983, Coral Springs police spokesman Tyler Reik said Friday. Authorities found Norris serving time for bank robbery at a West Virginia federal prison, Reik said.

In a separate case, Coral Springs police announced in August 2018 that re-testing of DNA evidence had led to the arrest of 59-year-old Frank Montana who's suspected of raping a woman in 1987 while wearing a ski mask and claiming he had a gun. Montana was extradited to Florida last year after serving prison time in Minnesota for a similar sexual assault.

In making both arrests, authorities credited advances in DNA technology in the decades since the crimes were committed.

In the Aug. 22, 1983, rape, the woman told investigators she awoke around 6 a.m. to find a stranger in her bedroom, according to an incident report. When she screamed, he told her three times that he wasn't going to hurt her. "I have loved you for months," he reportedly told her when it was over. "You have very nice children and a nice husband." He then put a pillow over her face and left.

The evidence was sent to the Broward Sheriff's Office, but the technology at the time didn't lead investigators to a suspect.

In March, the victim in that case approached police about re-opening the investigation after she saw social media accounts about DNA re-testing that led to Montana's arrest in the 1987 case.

Reik told news outlets that when evidence including a sample of her clothing was processed at the Broward Sheriff's Crime Lab, investigators found Norris' DNA on it.

The South Florida SunSentinel reports officials plan to extradite Norris to Florida. He has prior arrests for armed burglary, aggravated assault, assault on a female and kidnaping.

Montana was extradited in November 2018 and jailed without bond on two counts of sexual battery with a weapon.

Reik also said investigators are currently combing through 100 rape kits that date back 40 years.


  1. Brian Davison is chief executive officer of EquiAlt, a Tampa-based real estate investment firm that faces two lawsuits, one from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and another from a half-dozen investors seeking class-action status, in U.S. District Court in Tampa. Equialt bought this Safety Harbor home in a tax deed sale. Times (2015)
  2. A cemetery was once located in this parking lot next to a vacant Pinellas County School District building in Clearwater. Now ground radar has discovered 44 African-American graves at the site, and more could be found. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Kermon Williams is wanted in connection with a January 2019 shooting in which two people died. [St. Petersburg Police Department]
  4. This June 19, 2015, file photo, shows the Federal Communications Commission building in Washington. The Federal Communications Commission on Friday, is proposing about $200 million in fines combined for the four major U.S. phone companies for improperly disclosing customers' real-time location. Location data makes it possible to identify the whereabouts of nearly any phone in the U.S.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) [ANDREW HARNIK  |  AP]
  5. This Aug. 2, 2018, file photo shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration building behind FDA logos at a bus stop on the agency's campus in Silver Spring, Md. Health officials reported the first U.S. drug shortage tied to the viral outbreak that is disrupting production in China, but they declined to identify the manufacturer or the product. The Food and Drug Administration said late Thursday, that the drug's maker contacted health officials recently about the shortage, which it blamed on a manufacturing issue with the medicine's key ingredient.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) [JACQUELYN MARTIN  |  AP]
  6. According to two recent studies, a startlingly high percentage of Americans believe the coronavirus is somehow related to Corona beer. [Florida Aquarium]
  7. A new Publix in Pasco County will begin construction in August. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  8. John C. Green of Clearwater faces a second-degree murder charge out of Pasco County. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  9. Experts recommend employers outline policies about teleworking, travel and sick leave; monitor recommendations from the CDC and local health officials; and stock up on needed office supplies and other products that might be affected by a global manufacturing slowdown. [Times (2001)]
  10. Friends and family of Bradley Hulett, 15, who was fatally shot at the home of a Tampa Police Officer gather for a vigil at Park Square Plaza, located on 16132 Churchview Dr, in Lithia, Florida on Monday, December 16, 2019 [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  11. One excursion on Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise ended prematurely Thursday when the boat took on water. [Twitter]
  12. Perched above the top floor of Daer nightclub, the 10,000-square-foot space overlooks the lagoon and the Bora Bora cabanas. [Miami Herald]