Was MS-13 involved? Palm Beach mother’s murder remains unsolved 16 years later

The murder of Randi Gorenberg in Palm Beach County remains unsolved Thursday, 16 years after she was the victim of an abduction and robbery. (PBSO)

BOCA RATON, Fla. – A family was marking the painful anniversary Thursday of a Palm Beach County mother’s unsolved murder. The question remains: Was the feared Central American gang MS-13 involved?

Sixteen years after a kidnapper or kidnappers abducted a 52-year-old woman in Boca Raton and she turned up dead in Delray Beach — having suffered a gunshot wound to the head — detectives still need clues.

Randi Gorenberg vanished on March 23, 2007, after she bought a CD and shorts at the Town Center, a shopping mall related to a series of abductions and murders during robberies in Boca.

Detectives have talked about the case publicly. Gorenberg’s body was behind the South County Civic Center where a witness saw the dropoff. Her purse, shoes, and mobile phone vanished.

Her black Mercedes-Benz GL450 turned up abandoned at a Home Depot parking lot. Forensics investigators found DNA inside the SUV and stored surveillance video.

In 2011, detectives identified Michel Barrera, a fugitive who was associated with the feared MS-13 gang, as a person of interest in a 2007 cold case in Palm Beach County. (PBSO)

A white Chrysler might have been involved. Evidence in other similar cases took detectives to Miami-Dade County and a store that sold duct tape and zip ties.

In 2011, detectives publicly identified Michel Barrera, a fugitive who was associated with the feared MS-13 gang, as a person of interest in Gorenberg’s case.

The cold case had similarities with other cases including the cold case of Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and her 7-year-old daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser. They were also the victims of abduction, robbery, and murder after a visit to the Town Center in 2007.

Detectives asked anyone with information about the unsolved crimes to call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-8477. There is a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

This is a sketch of a man who abducted a woman from the Town Center at Boca Raton in August 2007.

About the Author:

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.