Boca Raton PD continues investigation into mall shootings

Nancy Bochicchio, daughter shot, killed 5 years ago

BOCA RATON, Fla. - The investigation continues into the execution-style shooting deaths of a woman and her 7-year-old daughter five years ago Wednesday.

The Boca Raton Police investigation began minutes after a mall security guard found the bodies of Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and her daughter, Joey, four days shy of her eighth birthday, before midnight on Dec. 12, 2007. They were bound and shot to death at point-blank range in Nancy's black 2007 Chrysler Aspen SUV.

On Wednesday, JoAnn Bruno, Bochicchio's sister, made an emotional plea for the public's help finding the killer.

"Please give my sister and Joey some peace. Let them rest in heaven because they don't have peace. How could anyone have peace when their daughter was tortured? Their last moments on this Earth -- she was tortured. She died with fear. God only knows how long they were driven around, what they went through," said Bruno. "I need some day to go to her. I promised her that we'd see that this animal was caught."

"We just need someone that we can talk to, either to point us in the right direction or lead us directly to a suspect," said Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander.

Investigators have learned a great deal about the murders since then. Mall surveillance video showed Nancy and Joey entering the mall hand-in-hand. Less than an hour later, the pair left the mall carrying shopping bags.

Police believe Nancy and Joey were carjacked in the parking lot minutes after getting into their SUV. Based on bank surveillance images, detectives said Nancy was forced to drive to a nearby ATM and withdraw $500. During this time, she tried to call 911 but was disconnected before she could say anything.

At some point, Nancy and her daughter were bound with clear plastic zip ties and handcuffs. Now police say a pair of goggles was also found on one of the victims -- possibly to inhibit her vision.

According to police, Nancy broke out of her handcuffs in an attempt to run away, but that bold action cost Nancy and her daughter their lives.

Months earlier, in August, there was another carjacking and kidnapping at the same mall. According to police, a gunman attacked and held hostage a 30-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son in the same parking garage at the southwest end of the mall where the Bochicchios were murdered.

"I unlock my car. I put my son in his car seat. I put my bags in and I go put the stroller in the back of the trunk and, when I walk back around, that's when I notice he's in the car," said the alleged victim in that case. "I thought he was going to take me to a house and rape me and murder me."

Investigators do have the surviving victim's memory of her attacker -- his dark, wavy hair, tied back in a ponytail; a distinctive floppy hat with a drawstring; black sunglasses that hugged his face, which had no noticeable hair; and a blue denim button-down shirt.

The Boca Raton Police have released a composite sketch of the man in the Aug. 7 attack. They think the attack may be related to the Bochicchio murders, but they haven't ruled out other possibilities.

"We feel very confident in the evidence that we do have that if we can identify a suspect, we can tie that suspect to that evidence," said Alexander.

The man in the composite is said to be a white man with a dark tan between the ages of 18 and 25. Police say he is between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall with a medium build. They also think he could have a ponytail.

The Boca Raton Police Service Department says it has tracked down nearly 2,000 leads, including making trips to New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Tampa as part of the investigation.

A $350,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer remains available.

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