2009 -- Page 1 ~*
Two years later, questions
unanswered on mother and daughter found murdered at Boca mall (2/11/09)
Two years later, mall murder victims remembered (2/11/09)
Boca Raton mall murders remain a mystery (2/11/09)
Two years later, questions unanswered
on mother and daughter found murdered at Boca mall
By Jerome Burdi, Sun Sentinel
8:00 p.m. EST, December 11, 2009
JoAnn Bruno has developed what
she calls silly beliefs. But she refuses to let go of them.
She hasn't changed a thing at
the home of her baby sister and niece since the day they were shot to
death. She hopes one day they'll come back.
The bodies of Joey Bochicchio-Hauser,
7, and her mother, Nancy Bochicchio, 47, were found in their SUV on
Dec. 12, 2007, in the parking lot of Town Center mall in Boca Raton.
Their home west of Boca Raton
still has the 2-year-old Christmas decorations, presents and a half-empty
soda Joey left in the fridge.
"I know it sounds silly,
but my heart tells me they're going to show up one of these days,"
Bruno said, beside a Bochicchio memorial live oak tree at Joey's St.
Jude Catholic School, west of Boca Raton. "This time of year gets
a lot tougher. The holidays are very difficult."
Joey would have been "two
whole hands," turning 10 on Dec. 17.
"That's all she kept saying:
She wanted to be 10. That made her a big girl in her eyes," Bruno
said, fighting back tears, as she always does when she thinks of the
Boca Raton police, along with
state and federal authorities, continue working to solve the case.
"We have processed 95 percent
of nearly 1,900 tips received during this investigation," police
spokeswoman Sandra Boonenberg said. "We will pursue any new leads
and continue to painstakingly review hundreds of items of evidence in
the interest of achieving justice for Nancy and Joey."
There's still a $350,000 reward
for information leading to the arrest of the killer or killers.
But a joint task force between
Boca Raton police and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, created
to work on this case and others possibly related, disbanded early this
That's when it was determined
that the Bochicchio case was not connected to the killing of Randi Gorenberg.
The Sheriff's Office has been investigating that case since March 23,
2007, when Gorenberg was shot in the head and dumped at a park west
of Delray Beach. Gorenberg, 52, was last seen alive as she left Town
Center in her black Mercedes. Her killer, also, has not been caught.
Nancy and Joey Bochicchio were
found bound with plastic ties and handcuffs and wearing blacked-out
swim goggles. Detectives discovered the two had been abducted, taken
to an ATM and forced to take out $500.
Those facts were strikingly similar
to an abduction and robbery on Aug. 7, 2007, at the mall. Forensic evidence
pointed toward the same suspect in both cases. In the Aug. 7 robbery,
a woman and her 2-year-old daughter were taken from the mall parking
lot to an ATM, forced to withdraw money, then bound and left in their
car at Town Center.
But they were left alive.
The FBI has been assisting Boca
Raton police in the Bochicchio case.
"They tell me all the time
they're doing everything possible, but my heart tells me that maybe
the FBI can do more," Bruno said.
Bruno has sued Town Center mall
in the wrongful death of her sister and niece. Well before the murders,
mall owner Simon Property Group and some stores there were put on notice
about security issues but failed to take measures to protect their patrons,
according to the lawsuit filed in January 2008.
The mall installed new security
measures after the killings, including a new surveillance system and
police substation. Mall officials said those security measures were
in the works before the killings.
Bruno has been back to Town Center
only once in the past two years — to pick up Joey's white funeral
dress, which was supposed to be used for her first Holy Communion.
In the crypt where mother and
daughter are buried in Hartsdale, N.Y., cemetery visitors sometimes
stop and look at their picture embossed in the marble.
"They say, 'Who was that?'
and 'They must have died in a car accident,'" Bruno said. "No
one can imagine [what happened]. You explain the story and their jaw
Police ask anyone with information
about the case to contact Detective Jeff Clare, 561-338-1246.
WPTV Ch.-5 Reporter Paige Kornblue
and Staff Researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.
Jerome Burdi can be reached at
jburdi@SunSentinel.com or 561-243-6531.
Copyright © 2009, South Florida
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Two years later, mall murder victims
Reported by: Paige Kornblue
Photographer: Eric Pasquarelli
Last Update: 12:26 pm
SUBURBAN BOCA RATON, FL -- This
weekend marks a somber anniversary.
Two years ago, a mother and her
young daughter were found shot to death in their SUV outside the Town
Center at Boca Raton.
Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter
Joey, 7, were last seen on surveillance video shopping, and then exiting
Investigators say the two were
abducted, robbed, and then murdered.
Boca Raton police say they have
processed 95% of nearly 1,900 tips received during the investigation.
The killer is still on the run.
"Everybody still needs to
be careful. People seem to forget that it happened," says Nancy's
sister, Jo Ann Bruno.
"Don't think he's gone. He…she…
because sometimes my heart tells me he's right in the area watching
us and there are times I think he left the country," adds Bruno.
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Boca Raton mall murders remain
Reported by: Paige Kornblue
Photographer: Eric Pasquarelli
Last Update: 6:31 pm
SUBURBAN BOCA RATON, FL -- Every
day, it is the same prayer.
"That they'll catch this
person... whoever it is, this beast," says Jo Ann Bruno.
Two years ago this weekend, Bruno's sister, Nancy Bochicchio, and Nancy's
young daughter, Joey, were abducted, robbed, and murdered.
The killer has not been caught.
The Bochicchio's went to the Town Center on December 12, 2007 to do
Surveillance cameras captured the mother and daughter inside and the
exiting the mall.
Hours later they were found shot to death inside their parked SUV. The
vehicle was found running in the middle of the night by mall security.
"I see them in the car. I see Joe-Joe screaming for her mother
to help her and my sister trying to fight him off.. that's a scene that
you just don't get over," says Bruno.
Bruno says she recently met with investigators from the FBI, Boca Raton
Police Department, State Attorney's Office and Palm Beach County District
"My heart tells me that maybe the FBI can do more," says Bruno.
Boca Raton police say they have processed 95% of the nearly 1,900 tips
received during this investigation.
"I felt better meeting with them all and hearing that they are
still involved. I mean, I knew that before, but hearing that from them
and getting to meeting together took time to get together, it made me
feel better," says Bruno.
"They all promise me that they will never give up on the case,"
One investigator, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells NewsChannel
5 that the DNA has been processed and authorities are just waiting for
A $350,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an
arrest in the case.
For Bruno, capturing a killer will serve as closure.
It will help, she says, but time never heals.
"Maybe, by some miracle, it wasn't them in the car and I always
have this hope that one day I'm going to wake up and they'll be there,"
That is why the Bochicchio's suburban Boca Raton home hasn't changed.
The index cards that Joey was coloring the morning of the murders are
where she left them.
The Christmas tree still stands with presents below.
"When you go on vacation you come home and you find your home the
way you left it so... I know it's silly… but you just don't want
to give up. You pray for a miracle," says Bruno.
The Bruno's find comfort at St. Jude Catholic School.
It was Joey's school, her home away from home.
St. Jude is now home to the live oak tree that bears Joey and Nancy's
Bruno decorates the tree each season.
"This year Joey would have been two whole hands for her birthday.
That's all she kept saying," says Bruno.
Joey would have turned ten on December 19.
The Bruno family has sued Simon Property Group, the company that owns
the Town Center at Boca Raton.
The wrongful death lawsuit is ongoing.
Joseph Cilia, mall manager at Town Center at Boca Raton provided the
following statement: "We are not able to discuss anything related
to legal matters, but want to reiterate that we are still fully cooperating
with the Boca Raton Police Department and hope that they will apprehend
the person responsible for this tragic crime.”
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective
Jeff Clare at Boca Raton Police Services Department at 561-338-1246.
You can read more about the case in Jerome Burdi's article in Saturday's
edition of the Sun-Sentinel.
BOCA RATON, FL -- The Town Center
at Boca Raton has provided the following security timeline from 2008
to the present:
Jan. 12, 2008 - Mall officials
announce partnership with National Crime Prevention Council
Jan. 14, 2008 - Town Center hires off-duty Boca Raton police officers
to patrol parking lot.
Jan. 18, 2008 - Town Center institutes complimentary valet parking for
shoppers with children. Also, Up-Front lot is opened up and complimentary
shuttle service is expanded, designated parking spaces set up for vehicles
with small children (by Feb. 29).
Feb. 11, 2008 - National Crime Prevention Council press conference announcing
Task Force initiative formation. Eventually folded into Boca Raton Police
Department V.I.P.E.R program.
Feb. 11-15 – Enhanced artist suspect sketch received from America’s
Most Wanted and distributed in-mall and to other Simon Malls.
Feb, 27, 2008 - Boca Raton police completed the installation of four
added surveillance cameras for the mall perimeter and parking lot at
March 18, 2008 - Community Safety Task Force for Boca Raton initiated
by Town Center – First meeting
May 17, 2008 – First Family Safety Awareness Day at Town Center
at Boca Raton
Oct. 1, 2008 - New Closed-Circuit Television Command Post and Sub Station
for Boca Raton Police Services Department Unveiled. The new 1,700-square-foot
sub station is the operational base for the Boca Raton police officers
currently assigned to patrol Town Center at Boca Raton and includes
work space for four Crime Prevention Unit members. Additionally, the
sub station is staffed by a Community Service Officer and civilian volunteers
who will assist patrons with police reports and fingerprinting. A conference
room, separate processing area and video surveillance room complete
this comprehensive facility.
In addition to closed-circuit cameras, the mall employs uniformed officers,
on-site police department presence, Segways, D3s, T3s and more.
The mall has also worked with ABC’s 20/20 to get information out
to the public and America’s Most Wanted and Dateline NBC also
aired segments on the incident.
Town Center at Boca Raton takes a proactive role in educating shoppers,
mall employees and the public about safety and awareness. On-going initiatives
at this mall and others include:
- “Circle of Respect,” a retail program designed to educate
mall employees about how to identify, handle and report suspicious activity.
It includes postings of Code of Conduct at every entry way and clearly
reminds shoppers of the “no tolerance” policy toward anyone
disrupting the shopping experience.
- “Retailer Awareness Program,” a neighborhood crime watch
- “Just Doesn’t Look Right,” a program that includes
posters and flyers, as well as pocket-size safety awareness tips.
- “Malls Against Crime,” an expansion of the task force
initiative that extends to Florida’s west, central and south and
well as east coast.
- Crime Prevention Task Force formation including local businesses and
- National Crime Prevention Council (known for its McGruff the Crime
Dog character) partnership.
- Family Safety Awareness Day events held in mall
- Crimestoppers, a partnership that empowers the mall to be active in
helping apprehend criminals. This effort also extends to other Simon
shopping malls in South Florida.
BOCA RATON, FL -- The Boca Raton Police Services Department has released
the following statement on the anniversary of the Bochicchio homicides:
As we approach the second anniversary
of the murders of Nancy and Joey Bochicchio, members of the Boca Raton
Police Services Department continue to actively pursue leads and review
evidence in this case. This investigative work includes examining records,
interviewing people associated with leads, and collecting various forms
of evidence. To date, we have processed 95% of nearly 1,900 tips received
during this investigation.
Working with federal, state, and
local partners, we will pursue any new leads and continue to painstakingly
review hundreds of items of evidence in the interest of achieving justice
for Nancy and Joey. There is a $350,000 reward that is being offered
for information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible
for these crimes. Anyone with information about this case is asked to
contact Detective Jeff Clare at the Boca Raton Police Services Department
--Officer Sandra Boonenberg
Public Information Office
Boca Raton Police Services Department
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