Norman Dennis, arrested in a Los Angeles suburb on March 22 for the murder 19 years earlier of his former girlfriend on the grounds of the Rutgers Houses on the Lower East Side, was still in California on April 20 waiting extradition to New York, according to law enforcement officials.
The victim, Sharon Copeland, was 25 and a single mother when she was shot to death in March 1986 behind 45 Rutgers St. at the corner of Madison St. The suspect fled and remained at large until earlier this year when an F.B.I. fingerprint record linked Dennis to a Norman Kearse who had been arrested in California. Police said the suspect, now 48, acknowledged when he was arrested that he was Dennis.
The body of Deirdre Berk, 47, a resident of Independence Plaza North, was found in the courtyard of 40 Harrison St. at about 7:15 p.m. Saturday April 7, police said. The victim apparently jumped to her death, police said.