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DNA does not link Wyoming suspect to child killings

DNA does not link Wyoming suspect to child killings

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) – After 24 years of looking for the killer of four Detroit area children and hopes the case was nearly solved, police must resume searching for suspects.

The FBI found Monday that DNA from suspect and Wyoming resident David Norberg’s exhumed body did not match pubic hair on 11-year-old Timothy King – the fourth victim in a wave of child murders that terrified the Detroit area community between February 1976 and March 1977.

During that time, two boys and two girls were found suffocated after they were missing for several days. Two had been raped and one was also shot in the face with a shotgun.

The victims’ families, as well as Berkley Police Detective Sgt. Ray Anger, have waited for the DNA test results from Norberg for more than a year. If the results matched, linking Norberg to the crimes, the case could have closed.

But now county and police officials must begin their search anew.

“Now we keep on hunting,” Anger told the Detroit Free Press. “And the question is, whose hair was on that boy?”

Anger added that Norberg is still one of many possible suspects police will reconsider.

“That hair was our best chance to tie him into the deceased,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who helped fund the trip out to Wyoming to exhume Norberg’s body, told The Oakland Press. “We don’t have a whole lot left to point to Norberg. We’re now looking back 25 years and the trail gets colder every year.”

Along with King, 12-year-old Mark Stebbins, 12-year-old Jill Robinson and 10-year-old Kristine Mihelich were killed.

Norberg, a former Warren autoworker, moved to Recluse, Wyo., in 1980 with his wife and daughter after being questioned by police in the killings. He died in a car crash there a year later.

During the investigation, three tipsters pinpointed Norberg as a possible suspect, but detectives cleared him based on alibis from his wife. Anger has said Norberg’s wife has since recanted and believes her dead husband committed the slayings.

Other physical evidence also pointed to Norberg, Anger said. For instance, he had a silver cross with the name “Kristine” etched in it, the name of one of the children killed.

And Norberg allegedly had a history of making improper sexual advances toward young children, Anger said.

All of this led Anger and Oakland County Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovic to a Wyoming cemetery in September 1999 to take DNA samples from Norberg’s body.

Anger said he plans to make good on a promise he made to Stebbins’ mother the day before she died in her hospital bed.

“I told her I can’t promise I’ll ever solve it, but I can promise I won’t ever stop trying,” he said.

Copyright © 2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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