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Norwalk Police Asking For Help In 1981 Cold Case Murder

Norwalk Police are asking for help in solving the cold case murder of Carole Gates in 1981. Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department/Facebook
Carole Gates was last seen walking to her car on Steven Street in 1981. Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department/Facebook
The body of Carole Gates was found in a wooded area off the Merritt Parkway on Aug. 20, 1981. Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department/Facebook

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk police are seeking information in the 1981 murder of a Norwalk Hospital employee.

On Tuesday, August 11, 1981 at approximately 11:45 p.m., Carole Gates, 40, was last seen by a co-worker at the Norwalk Hospital Pharmacy as she left at the end of her work shift. 

According to police, Gates exited Norwalk Hospital onto Stevens Street and headed towards her white 1980 Toyota Corolla that was parked on Stevens Street in front of No. 35. 

Gates did not arrive home to her Bethel residence that night and was reported missing to the Bethel Police Department the next day by her mother. 

On Thursday, August 13, 1981, Norwalk Police received the report of Carole Gates being a missing person and opened up the case. Gate’s Toyota was located on Stevens Street with the driver door unlocked, keys in the ignition and her pocketbook, work keys and white lab coat on the front seat. 

One witness in the area reported hearing a loud scream of a woman that was then muffled around 11:30 p.m. on August 11 and noted that Gates’ Toyota was parked about 15 feet from his window, police said.

This same witness reported seeing a suspicious full-size van, either white or tan parked across the street earlier in the day. A second witness reported seeing a male wearing a light tan trench coat and carrying a walking stick or cane, walk from Rhondonolia Park and across Stevens Street. At the same time, the witness observed a woman she later believed to be Gates walking up Stevens Street.

On Thursday, August 20, 1981, the Connecticut State Police located Gate's body in a wooded area 50 yards in from the edge of the Merritt Parkway eastbound lanes just east of the Den Road entrance. 

Her death was ruled a homicide by multiple fractures to the skull. The case is being investigated jointly by Sgt. Alex Tolnay of the Norwalk Police Department and Detective William Flynn of the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad. 

Anybody with information is asked to contact Sgt. Alex Tolnay (203) 854-3046 or Anonymous Internet tips can be sent through the Norwalk police website at: Anonymous text tips can be submitted by typing “NPD” into the text field, followed by the message and sending it to CRIMES (274637).

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