Police in Hallandale Beach, Fla., say it’s “only a matter of time before we get [a DNA] match,” of two females suspected in the murders of Canadians Donny Pichosky and Rochelle Wise.
Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy, who has been leading the investigation since the Toronto couple was murdered in their Florida winter home last year, told reporters that although police have two DNA profiles they obtained from the crime scene, they don’t yet have a match.
Pichosky, 71, and Wise, 66, were found dead Jan. 10, 2013. Flournoy said they were bound and apparently died of asphyxiation. The only thing that had been taken was Wise’s wedding band, valued at $16,000.
A month after the murders, police released surveillance video of a mystery woman that showed her walking behind the couple’s home around the time of the murder. The police have yet to identify her, but they released a forensic artist’s sketch of the woman during the Jan. 8 press conference.
The chief said the murder victims lived in a tight-knit community of snowbirds.
“This is not a very transient community. Everyone knows everyone… With her not being identified and being around the home with two female DNA profiles being inside the crime scene, she is particularly someone we want to speak with,” Flournoy said.
“Donny and Rochelle have no enemies. They did not carry large sums of money around. They were not flashy. We just have not been able to point the reason why someone would target them or was it a crime of opportunity?… We have not been able to establish why.”
Flournoy said his team has interviewed more than 50 people in the case and cross-referenced the DNA profiles found at the crime scene with DNA databases in the United States and Canada, to no avail.
What police do know, is that the profiles “do not match anyone in the Pichosky family or the Wise family, or anyone that would have had access to their residence, any workers, any maids, any maintenance individuals who would have been permitted into their home,” Flournoy said.
He said that working with the FBI crime lab, a shoeprint impression was also recovered from the crime scene.
He said FBI investigators identified the shoe print as having been made by an Adidas shoe called Supernova that has not been manufactured since 2000.
Present at the press conference were family and friends of the Pichosky and Wise families, who pleaded with the public to assist the police if they have any information pertaining to the case.
“I am appealing to the public, or anyone who knows anything about this case to come forward and speak to the police,” said Pichosky’s son, Mark.
“Our families have no closure and it would be a great help if we could get this case solved.”
Pichosky’s daughter, Sari Rosenblum, said that in the year since her father and his wife were murdered, her family has been living a nightmare.
“We have no peace, we have no closure. We have no understanding of why this has happened. I still have nightmares, and I can’t put aside what happened to them, and I have no chance of moving on. Nothing in my life is normal anymore,” she said.
“Donny was a very special person, not only to my family but to the community as well. He went weekly to visit the elderly and sick… This special man was killed. He was my dad,” she said, overcome with emotion, stifling tears.
Pearl Gladman, a close friend of Wise, said, “Everyone needs someone to talk to, to cry with, to dance with and I’ve lost that person… They had a whole life ahead of them, they were very special people they loved Florida… and it hurts me so much to know that the place they loved is the place where their life ended.”
Flournoy, who vowed that police would solve this case, admitted that it is very “complex.”
“You have a profile of two females inside of a double homicide. That in itself is unique… It doesn’t match typically what happens in homicide cases.”
The reward for information that could help police solve the case has been increased from $51,000 to $57,000.