Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Chet Norris with Miriam Terry

Real Name: Chetley Norris
Case: Lost Father
Location: Covington, Kentucky
Date: February 1950


Details: In May 1988, in Plant City, Florida, a hospital nurse named Kathleen Belcher received a call from her mother, Miriam Terry. Kathleen's stepfather was about to have major surgery and he needed blood from Kathleen and her sister. Her blood type was A and Miriam's was B; she asked Miriam about her father's and she said it was O. Kathleen was confused because she knew that to have type A, one of her parents had to have it as well. At this point, Miriam realized that her secret was out; she had inadvertently revealed that the man Kathleen believed to be her father was, in fact, not her father at all.
Miriam's first husband, Bud, was the man that Kathleen assumed was her father. He had flown bombing missions during WWII; after the war, Miriam noted that he was a changed man. He became involved in gambling and was almost always in debt as a result. In 1945, they had a daughter, Kathleen's sister. In 1948, Bud re-enlisted, hoping that military discipline would restore some order to his life. It did not work; he went AWOL, leaving Miriam and their daughter behind. Several months later, his parents convinced Miriam to move on; they even introduced her to a new man: Chet Norris, a bartender in Covington, Kentucky.

Kathleen belcher1.jpg

Chet was nice to Miriam, and she soon became attracted to him. They began dating and she tried to get a divorce from Bud. She and Chet planned a new life for each other. Then, Bud was arrested by military authorities; he was found living with another woman. Miriam did not want to return to him; she soon discovered that she was pregnant with Chet's child. He wanted to marry her, but she had to divorce Bud first. She visited him in jail; she was determined to end their marriage. He refused and planned to take their daughter with him if they divorced. He agreed to raise her as his own, so Miriam agreed to go back to him. She then told Chet that she had lied about being pregnant. He, however, still wanted to marry her. She again refused and told him that she was staying with Bud. He left, and she never saw him again.
Bud was eventually released; Kathleen was born on February 12, 1950. He raised her as his own child. His addiction to gambling kept the family close to bankruptcy. He and Miriam divorced in 1969; she remarried in 1974. He committed suicide a few months later. Miriam believed that her secret would remain hidden from Kathleen. She, in fact, planned to take the secret to her grave. However, she says that since it is her fault, she is now helping Kathleen find Chet.
Kathleen spent six years searching for Chet using Social Security records, classified ads, and computer hotlines. She phoned hundreds of Norrises across the country. However, she has yet to find him.
Chet was a golden gloves boxer during the 1940s. He may have had a brother named John. If he's still alive, he would now be in his late 80s or early 90s.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 4, 1994 episode.
Results: Unsolved
Links: None