Murder probe: Family's pain over missing Norma

Police offer 20k reward for key info

Tuesday, 22nd February — By Isabelle Stanley

Norma Girolami 001 (1) new

Norma Girolami has not been seen since the summer and detectives believe she is dead

THE family of a missing 70-year-old woman are begging people to come forward with any information – no matter how small – that could help find her body.

Norma Girolami, from Highgate, was reported missing on September 20 2021 – but relatives had not seen her since mid-August, when she left her flat suddenly with food still in the fridge.

At first, the police launched a missing persons investigation, but then in October said the case was being treated as a murder inquiry even without the discovery of a body.

Her cousin Simone Day said: “We know she’s gone, we’ve all come to terms with the fact she’s dead. We know if she was alive she would be in contact with one of us. She was the centre of our family. But, we haven’t been able to give her a proper funeral.

“If we could find her body, it would mean we would be able to have closure.”

She added: “It’s like a horror show, you never imagine it will happen to you. If anyone could please come forward with any information, it would really help us come to terms with this whole ordeal.”

Ms Girolami lived alone and had no children, but she did have a large extended family and many close friends.

Ms Day said: “We wanted everyone to know she was loved and in a close family, she had a lot of friends. She was a very independent social person. Even when you’re surrounded by people these things can still happen.”

She added: “Some members of the family have been worried that Norma was targeted and this could happen to others who are vulnerable, people have to look out for each other.”

A man has been charged with murder and fraud offences, but on Thursday police issued a fresh appeal for help and offered a £20,000 reward for anyone who can provide significant information.

Detective Chief Inspector Jo Sidaway said: “There was a point in time where everything seemed to stop for Norma. She followed a habitual routine, she was a little old-fashioned, she would write a cheque, go into a bank – it all just stopped – it was very out of character.”

She added: “We believe that there has been an event that occurred around August 19-20 that has led to Norma’s death. “We’ve heard from some people who knew Norma, but we don’t feel that we’ve heard from everyone that knew her who could help with her movements up until then. We’d like to hear from those who routinely saw her, spoke with her.”

DCI Sidaway added: “She shopped in the local area, used hairdressing, beauty salons, maybe she’s made some disclosures that people didn’t think were relevant but now she is deceased they may know that they were relevant.

“Anything a member of the public could help us with to indicate how she was feeling, what might have been happening at that point is going to be really helpful.”

Officers said she liked to visit Leigh-on-Sea in Essex and are aware she made a trip there on Thursday August 19, taking the train from Barking before returning to London later that day. Norma’s communi­cation stopped that same evening. As part of the investigation, officers have released an image of a car they believe may be linked to Norma’s disappearance.

The grey Kia Niro possibly had a red warning sign attached to it. DCI Sidaway said: “We’ve been looking for Norma, conducting significant searches and we haven’t found her yet and we feel this vehicle may have involvement in the disappearance and murder and we’d like to hear from anyone who saw it around Highgate and Finchley from August 19 to October 1.

“If they’ve seen it anywhere that seemed suspicious we’d like to hear from anyone.”

Anyone with information can call the police directly, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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