On September 14, 1981, Janice Beidleman and her 18-month-old son, Brandon, were found in the water near Agler Road. Janice Beidleman had been beaten and strangled. The police believe that Brandon had been suffocated, possibly with a pillow.
On September 13, 1981, Janice Beidleman and her son left a relative’s house on Myrtle Drive. She was going to stop at the grocery store before returning to her home on Beechwold Drive. Unfortunately, the Beidlemans did not make it home.
The police also know that before being placed in the water, the Beidlemans were attacked near Putter Ave. The people in the Putter Avenue neighborhood heard the screams. It must have been terrible.
The car that Beidleman was driving was found near the bridge at Agler and Sunbury Roads.
So I have a theory about what happened to the mother and son. It is possible that Beidleman was confronted by the attacker while in the store parking lot. I think that the suspect was waiting for someone that he could kidnap. For whatever reason, Janice Beidleman fit the bill. Who knows if the suspect knew that there was a toddler or not?
The cause of death was also strangulation in the case of Sheronda Norris. It seems like they both were either out for a walk or shopping. They could have each been an easy target for their killer.
The Beidlemans were found extremely close to where Sheronda Norris was found. Norris went missing on September 15, 1991, almost exactly 10 years later.
The people of Columbus really wanted to see this case get solved. They wanted the mother and especially the young son to receive some justice. Every few years, the police and the media revisit this case in order to solve the case. I hope that after almost 39 years that someone can put all the pieces to this cold case together.
Who to Contact
If anyone knows anything about any of the cases of Janice and Brandon Beidleman or Sheronda Norris, contact the Columbus Police or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.
Contact information: Rewards may be available for information on a case that leads to a conviction by contacting Central Ohio’s Crime Stoppers at (614) 461-8477 or visiting their website.
If you have any information or questions about any Columbus area cold case, please contact the Columbus Police Department. The Homicide Cold Case Unit number is available (614) 645-4036 during the hours of 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. You can also call the Investigative Subdivision Duty Desk at (614) 645-4624, after hours.