MURDER INQUIRY IN A 'BIND'
Gorenberg, Florence, of Delray Beach passed away June 4, 2007.
Formerly of Sheepshead Bay, NY
Loving wife of the late Joseph
to whom she was married to for 47 years; adored mother of Stewart and
the late Randi Gorenberg , Lori & Arnold Wallis and Robert Gorenberg;
cherished grandmother of Daniel, Sarie, Michelle & Naomi; beloved
sister of Roz Cohen and Sylvia Brenner.
MURDER INQUIRY IN A 'BIND' - DISCREPANCY
SUGGESTED IN WARRANT
"He's withdrawn and depressed," attorney Guy Fronstin said. "He and his mother were extremely close, as close as a mother and son could be." Yet the 25-year-old's behavior in the hours and days following the slaying of Randi Gorenberg , who lived west of Boca Raton, on March 23 continues to intrigue sheriff's detectives.
Two hours after the homicide, deputies spotted Daniel Gorenberg quickly driving his Volkswagen car into his parent's garage, opening the trunk and removing a spray bottle and roll of paper towels, according to a search warrant obtained by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Minutes later, he paced on his parent's driveway, ran his hands through his hair, smoked a cigarette and was "displaying visible signs of stress," the document said.
At that time, detectives had not notified the family that Randi Gorenberg was shot and pushed out of her Mercedes SUV at Gov. Lawton Chiles Memorial Park off Jog Road.
More questions followed the next day when Daniel Gorenberg turned over to investigators only some of the attire he wore on the day of his mother's death. Deputies saw him a day earlier wearing black shoes and a black belt, but he gave detectives white shoes and no belt, the document said.
Two days later, he claimed to have been working at a Boca Raton jewelry store at the time of the homicide, the warrant said.
The store had no record of him working there that day, the warrant said.
Sgt. Rick McAfee said Daniel Gorenberg is not a suspect in the high-profile slaying, which was featured on America's Most Wanted. There are no suspects yet, he said.
Still, McAfee said, he wants Daniel Gorenberg and his father, Fort Lauderdale-based chiropractor Dr. Stewart Gorenberg, to be more helpful. They have not been willing recently to sit down with detectives and answer more questions about their whereabouts that day, he said.
"We're in a tremendous bind," McAfee said.
Fronstin said the father and son already have answered questions in person and through a questionnaire. He acknowledged that Daniel Gorenberg's behaviors could be construed as suspicious but his actions are all explainable.
"Daniel has nothing to do with this," Fronstin said.
On March 23, Randi Gorenberg , 52, a mother of two who lived in a $2.2 million home in the Boniello Acres community west of Boca Raton, left the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton alone in her SUV at 1:16 p.m., detectives said.
At 1:54 p.m., a passer-by reported hearing two gunshots and seeing the mother's body pushed from her SUV.
Five minutes later, surveillance cameras captured the SUV entering the Home Depot parking lot at Atlantic Avenue and Jog Road. The vehicle was left there, but the cameras did not clearly show who was behind the wheel.
Detectives are still poring through surveillance footage, awaiting DNA analysis and considering working with the U.S. Attorney's Office to broaden the scope of the investigation, McAfee said. Yet the number of detectives assigned to the case has been reduced from six to two because there are other unsolved killings needing attention, he said.
The pace of the investigation has upset Randi Gorenberg 's brother, Jerry Malitz, who lives in Washington, D.C.
The Sheriff's Office turned down his request for a copy of the Home Depot surveillance video so a family member with a production company could review it, he said. And detectives did not initially interview people the family recommended who could know something about the killing, he said.
"I'm frustrated both by the seemingly lack of progress and them seemingly not being as forthcoming with the family as they were the first week," Malitz said.
McAfee said the video was not handed over because his agency didn't want a family member reviewing it, a potential for a conflict in court if an arrest is make. Detectives have not talked to everyone Malitz's family suggested because they still want to talk further to Daniel and Stewart Gorenberg.
"The rhythm and rhyme of what we do to a layman may seem like we're dragging our feet. But there's a process we use and it's a thinking of two or three steps ahead," McAfee said.
Fronstin explained that there isn't anything unusual about Daniel Gorenberg pacing and smoking on the driveway of his parent's home. He's not allowed to smoke inside.
As for him failing to turn over his shoes and belt, the attorney said the son gave detectives everything he had. Investigators had a chance to go through his room in the three searches of the house, he said.
Fronstin declined to comment on why Daniel Gorenberg told detectives he was working at the store at the time of the homicide, even though detectives said he wasn't.
Malitz remembers his sister being a "champion" to Daniel Gorenberg and would always support him and care for him.
The son had studied criminology at the University of South Florida and planned to become a police officer, he said.
Leon Fooksman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-243-6647.
Man arrested in attempt to get prescription drugs
The son of a West Boca woman mysteriously killed near a park has been arrested for fraudulently trying to obtain prescription drugs, police say.
Daniel Gorenberg, 25, was arrested Monday at a Walgreens in Delray Beach after he tried to get Xanax, police say.
His mother, Randi Gorenberg , 52, was shot to death and dumped on a back road near The Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden Park on March 23. Her slaying remains unsolved.
Palm Beach County sheriff's detectives have said Daniel Gorenberg and his father, chiropractor Stewart Gorenberg, need to be more helpful in the homicide investigation. Neither has been willing to answer more questions about their whereabouts on the day of the slaying. Daniel Gorenberg was charged with an attempt to obtain a controlled substance.
SLAIN WOMAN'S SON FACES PRESCRIPTION
Daniel Gorenberg, whose mother's murder has gone unsolved these five months, despite efforts of Palm Beach County sheriff's detectives, walked into a Walgreens on South Federal Highway about 7:20 p.m. and tried to fill a fake prescription for Xanax, according to his arrest affidavit. The 25-year-old man was booked into the county jail about 12:30 a.m. on a charge of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud. He was released on bond at about 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Gorenberg's attorney, Guy Fronstin, said the arrest shows how profoundly his client was affected by his mother's death.
"He's been struggling every day since this murder. I think his arrest last night is an indication that Daniel's not thinking clearly," Fronstin said. "I think it's got to be put in context."
Randi Gorenberg , 52, was a prominent member of the close-knit Jewish community west of Boca Raton. She lived with her husband, Stewart, a Fort Lauderdale chiropractor, and son in a 7,000-square-foot home in Boniello Acres, near Clint Moore and Jog roads. Her daughter, Sarie Gorenberg, attends the University of Florida in Gainesville.
The last images of her were captured by a security camera at the Town Center mall in Boca Raton on the afternoon of March 23, 39 minutes before she was killed. The footage showed her pause with a cellphone to her ear before striding to her car, a characteristic bounce in her step.
At 1:54 p.m., a witness at Gov. Lawton Chiles Memorial Park near Jog and Morikami Park roads heard gunshots and saw the woman pushed to the street from her black Mercedes GL 450. She lay facedown and bleeding on the asphalt as bystanders dialed 911.
Five minutes later, at a Home Depot at Jog and Atlantic Avenue, a security camera trained on the southeast corner of the parking lot recorded the Mercedes as it flashed by and turned left toward Atlantic.
A sheriff's community service aide found the Mercedes abandoned behind the hardware store, less than 2 miles from the crime scene, about an hour after the shooting.
Forensic investigators found blood and fingerprints inside the SUV but gleaned few clues from them.
Gorenberg's $600 Kooba purse, cellphone and black-and-white Puma sneakers - she was thrown from the Mercedes in her socks - have never been found.
The killer remains on the loose.
In the weeks following Gorenberg's death, sheriff's investigators expressed frustration with her family, citing a lack of cooperation from Daniel and his father, Stewart.
Members of the family, in turn, are frustrated that the sheriff's office hasn't made more progress, Fronstin said.
Not long after the murder, family members quit dealing with sheriff's investigators face-to-face and directed detectives' questions through Fronstin, who was hired as family spokesman in late March.
Neither Stewart Gorenberg nor his son has sat for a formal interview with detectives, said sheriff's Sgt. Rick McAfee, whose violent crimes squad is handling the investigation.
"It's definitely a huge hurdle," McAfee said. "We can't 100 percent rule out that they didn't have any involvement. We can't rule that out."
Sheriff's investigators said Daniel Gorenberg, whom family members say struggled with substance abuse in the past, lied about his alibi on the day his mother was killed.
He told authorities he was working at a shop that cuts diamond saw bits on the afternoon of March 23, but his employer told detectives he never showed up for work.
Sheriff's investigators learned of Daniel Gorenberg's arrest Tuesday, McAfee said.
After he was taken into custody Monday, a Delray Beach police officer took him to the police station's temporary holding area and interviewed him, according to reports.
Afterward, the officer noted, Daniel Gorenberg's attorney, Fronstin, called the officer and asked him "not to question his client anymore."
SILENCE HURTS SLAYING PROBE, OFFICIALS
The investigation into the March 23 murder of Randi Gorenberg , 52, a wife and mother who was shot in a park west of Delray Beach, has been hindered in recent months, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says. The reason, the sheriff's office says: Gorenberg's husband, Stewart, and son, Daniel, have refused to meet with detectives and answer questions.
Their refusal to cooperate has baffled investigators and some family members alike, who can't understand why two men, whose wife and mother was taken so violently, would fail to do everything in their power to bring her killer to justice.
Gorenberg's brother, Jerry Malitz, 56, couldn't be reached Wednesday.
Sheriff's investigators said they were pleased with the meeting's outcome but held out little hope that Malitz or his mother, Idey Elias, could persuade relatives to talk.
Neither Stewart Gorenberg, 52, a Fort Lauderdale chiropractor, nor his 25-year-old son, who last month was arrested on a prescription drug charge, will speak to detectives. Instead they've directed all questions to Guy Fronstin, a West Palm Beach attorney whom Stewart Gorenberg hired after his wife's murder.
The unusual move has been frustrating, detectives said. The family, in turn, is upset that investigators haven't made more progress in the case.
Sheriff's Sgt. Rick McAfee, whose violent crimes squad is handling the investigation, said Wednesday that detectives shouldn't have to send reminders. "It's an open invitation. He (Fronstin) knows we want to sit down and talk to them," McAfee said, adding: "I don't know if it's going to take place."
Palm Beach County
Son of slain woman faces more drug charges
The son of a West Boca woman mysteriously killed in March in a park faces more charges for illegally trying to buy prescription drugs in August, an arrest report said.
Daniel Gorenberg, 25, was booked in the Palm Beach County Jail on Thursday on two counts of obtain/acquire a controlled substance by misrepresentation.
He was also arrested in August for allegedly trying to fraudulently obtain prescription Xanax in a Walgreens in Delray Beach.
His mother, Randi Gorenberg , 52, was shot to death and dumped on a back road near The Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden Park on March 23.
Sheriff's detectives have said Daniel Gorenberg and
his father, chiropractor Stewart Gorenberg, need to be more helpful
in the homicide investigation.
SLAYING VICTIM'S SON HELD ON PRESCRIPTION
On Aug. 28, Daniel Gorenberg, 25, was jailed by Delray Beach police after a city pharmacist suspected him of trying to fill a fake prescription for Xanax. The next day, agents with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office pharmaceutical crimes unit got a tip that Gorenberg had used similarly suspicious prescriptions for Xanax and Valium at a Walgreens store on South Federal Highway in Delray Beach. Two months later, investigators swore out a warrant for his arrest on charges of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud.
His attorney, Guy Fronstin, said Thursday's arrest was another sign of how profoundly his client was affected by the loss of his mother.
Randi Gorenberg , 52, was a popular member of the close-knit Jewish community west of Boca Raton. On the afternoon of March 23, she was shot in the head and pushed from her Mercedes sport utility vehicle in a park west of Delray Beach, near Jog and Morikami Park roads.
An hour later, authorities discovered her bloodstained SUV abandoned behind the Home Depot store at Jog Road and Atlantic Avenue.
Certain details of the slaying have intrigued detectives.
The last recorded images of Randi Gorenberg showed her holding a cellphone to her ear as she strode from the Town Center at Boca Raton mall 39 minutes before she was killed; five minutes after the crime, Home Depot security cameras captured fleeting video of her SUV, apparently driven by her killer; and several things the victim carried that day remain missing, including her Kooba purse, wallet, cellphone, shopping bags and, most curiously, her black-and-white Puma sneakers.
The killer remains on the loose.
Since the slaying, Fronstin said, Daniel Gorenberg had slipped into drug abuse as a means of coping. However, the attorney added, the son had been improving since his arrest in Delray Beach.
"It's a shame that the detectives are coming after him now," Fronstin said.
That sentiment hints at tension that developed between homicide detectives and Randi Gorenberg 's family in the weeks after her death.
Investigators first spoke to the victim's husband, Stewart Gorenberg, 52, a Fort Lauderdale chiropractor, last week.
Previously, both father and son had referred questions to Fronstin, and the delay had hindered the investigation, detectives said.
"There's been some new open dialogue between Stewart and us," said Sgt. Rick McAfee, whose violent crimes squad is handling the case. "I'd say his attitude has changed 180 degrees."