The following day was supposed to be one filled with joy and celebration for the Brown family. It was Norine’s thirty-second birthday, yet she was nowhere to be found.
So, her husband John decided to phone one of Norine’s best friends– Elaine– to ask if she had spent the night there. According to him, he and his wife had gotten into a bit of a tiff before Norine headed out to the store.
In turn, he figured that she might have just needed some space and spent the night at her friend’s house.
After John fell asleep on the couch and woke up the next morning, though, he realized that his wife had never returned home.
While on the phone with Elaine– who revealed Norine had not stayed at her house– John asked if she could visit the Pathmark supermarket where his wife was supposed to have gone shopping the night before. The store, which was located on Jericho Highway in Garden City Park, was only about one mile from home.
Once Elaine finally arrived at the Pathmark, though, her heart dropped– because there, still parked in the middle of the lot, was Norine’s locked car packed with wrapped Christmas presents.
Norine had also left her purse, which had forty-five dollars in it, inside the vehicle. The rest of her wallet and identification had been left at home.
So, following Elaine’s discovery, John contacted the police and filed a missing person report for his wife.
John was a respected firefighter, and during the early days of Norine’s disappearance, some of his fellow firemen aided the search effort. Unfortunately, though, both investigators and community members had little information to go off of.
No one had any clue whether or not Norine ever actually entered the store that night. And even though one employee did recall spotting her vehicle in the lot just past 11:00 p.m., they did not remember seeing Norine herself.