Family hopes new DNA tech will help solve mother’s 2004 murder in Miramar

Detective: Restest of evidence may solve June 14, 2004 cold case

Yvonne McCalla, 37, a mother, was murdered on June 14, 2004 at her home in Miramar. Detective Mark Moretti said the murder was premeditated and he hopes DNA technology will soon help him solve the case.

MIRAMAR, Fla. – The family of Yvonne McCalla has been praying for justice since police officers found her dead on June 14, 2004, in her apartment in Miramar.

McCalla had moved to South Florida from Jamaica when she was a teenager. When she died at 37, she was a divorcee who was co-parenting a 12-year-old daughter with her ex-husband and worked as a medical assistant.

“To think someone would do that was beyond our imagination,” McCalla’s sister Olive Smith recently said. “Who would do that to her?”

More than 18 years later, McCalla’s family is hoping that new DNA technology will help detectives solve the cold case. Miramar Detective Mark Moretti recently gave them hope. Crime scene lab technicians are retesting evidence.

“The forensic side always provides us the last piece of the puzzle that we need,” Moretti said.

McCalla’s older sisters Smith and Beverly Woolery said the tragedy was unexpected. Yvonne McCalla wasn’t answering her phone after attending a service at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses where she was a regular.

Woolery said her niece called her to report she hadn’t been unable to get a hold of her mother.

“I just had a bad feeling in my heart that something was wrong,” Woolery said as she retold the story in 2013.

Smith and their brother Basil McCalla decided to drive to her apartment at 8550 Sherman Cir. N.

Woolery said they found McCallan’s fifth-floor apartment door open and Basil McCalla was in tears and couldn’t tell over the phone that their sister had been the victim of a brutal murder.

There were no signs of forced entry. Detectives believe the killer had pent-up anger and went into “overkill.” Yvonne McCalla’s body was on the floor of the apartment’s master bedroom.

Woolery’s plea remains the same years later.

“I’m hoping somebody out there knows something and is willing to come forward.”

Detectives and McCalla’s family are asking anyone with information about the case to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477 or the Miramar Police Department at 954-602-4000.

About the Authors:

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.