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Norwalk Police Seek Answers In 1980 Shooting Death Of Woman At Taylor Farm

Norwalk police are seeking information about the murder of a South Norwalk woman in the hopes of solving the decades-old cold case. Thelma "Cookie" Middleton was found dead at the entrance to Taylor Farm in late November, 1980.
Norwalk police are seeking information about the murder of a South Norwalk woman in the hopes of solving the decades-old cold case. Thelma "Cookie" Middleton was found dead at the entrance to Taylor Farm in late November, 1980. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk police are seeking new information on the shooting death of a South Norwalk woman in the hopes of solving the decades-old case.

Police said 32-year-old Thelma “Cookie” Middleton was found dead at Taylor Farm early on Nov. 22, 1980.

Officers were called to the spot by an anonymous male caller, who said there was an intoxicated or injured person lying on the ground near the farm’s entrance on Canfield Avenue.

Taylor Farm, which once belonged to Nelson Taylor, a renowned Civil War general, is now a park adjacent to Calf Pasture Beach on Long Island Sound.

When officers arrived, they found Middleton had died as a result of gunshot wounds, according to police reports.

Officers interviewed several duck hunters in the vicinity who told them that they had not seen a vehicle or body when they arrived at 6:10 a.m.

However, one of them said he had heard what sounded like a gunshot coming from the direction of Taylor Farm at 6:20 a.m., police said.

During the investigation, police talked to other witnesses who said Middleton had been spotted in South Norwalk around 5:30 a.m.

One told police that they saw Middleton riding in a dark blue sedan, possibly a Saab, which was being driving by a white man on Elizabeth Street, according to police.

The witness said the car headed toward South Main Street and then north, police said.

Another witness placed Middleton on Haviland Street near Water Street around the same time.

A third witness told police that Middleton was at the intersection of Water Street and Washington Street talking to someone in a car also around 5:30 a.m.

Middleton got into the car and was driven away over the Stroffolino Bridge toward East Norwalk, the witness told police.

Evidence collected in the case will be sent to the state Forensic Laboratory for DNA examination, as well as a re-examination of ballistic evidence, police said.

Anybody with information about the cold case is asked to contact Sgt. Alex Tolnay by calling 203-854-3046, or by emailing him at atolnay@norwalkct.org.

Anonymous Internet tips can be sent through the Norwalk police website at: www.norwalkpd.com

Anonymous text tips can also be submitted by typing “NPD” into the text field, followed by the message and sending it to CRIMES (274637).

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