On December 12, 2007, Nancy Bochicchio and her 7 year old daughter, Joey, were bound, robbed, and shot to death at point blank range. The sheer violence of this case was only compounded by the fact that Nancy and Joey were your typical mom/daughter family shopping at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton.
This case was a game changer – it sent a chill down the spine every mom’s back who had ever shopped alone with her kids at the Town Center Mall. Affluent Boca moms who frequented that mall alone with their kids in the middle of the week, all of a sudden started feeling very vulnerable in their otherwise low crime neighborhood. After all, who ever heard of such a thing in Boca?
Despite the great attention this case received in the media and the extremely thorough and diligent work performed by law enforcement, this double homicide was never solved and remains one of Boca Raton’s most notorious cold cases to this very day.
On Tuesday, the FBI and the Boca Raton Police Department will be holding a press conference about this case. Do they have a new lead? Has new information come to light? Are they closer to identifying a suspect? Has there been a DNA match?
Today we will discuss the facts of this case with the hope that YOU or someone out there may know something that can help.
WHAT HAPPENED TO NANCY AND JOEY BOCHICCHIO?
December 12, 2007 was a Wednesday. Middle of the week. At approximately 2:19 p.m., cameras on the rooftop of Neiman Marcus at the Boca Town Center Mall captured images of Nancy and Joey pulling into the mall. Nancy drove a black, 2007 Chrysler Aspen. At approximately 3:11 p.m., security cameras captured their departure.
Just prior to midnight, a security guard at the Town Center Mall discovered Nancy’s SUV parked on the south side of the Sears parking lot with its engine still running. The guard called for Boca Police to investigate.
The bodies found inside were bound with duct tape, zip ties, and handcuffs. With hands, feet, and necks bound, one of them was also was forced to wear blacked out goggles.
For reasons unknown, the bindings around Nancy’s wrists were broken, however it is unclear how that happened or what the significance is.
Both were shot to death at point blank range.
The next day (Thursday), Nancy’s long time friend, David Stewart, called her cell phone and a man answered in Spanish then hung up. When David tried calling again on Friday, the call went directly to voicemail without being answered by anyone. It is unclear who the man was that answered on Thursday.
Nancy’s purse was later found by two homeless men, Charles Jackson and David Goodman, in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood – approximately 45 miles away. Charles Jackson claims he found her cell phone near the Miami Arena and gave it to a police officer.
Boca Raton Police believe that Nancy and Joey were kidnapped at gun point in the mall and were forced to withdraw $500 from an ATM. A 911 call was received from Nancy’s cell phone by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, but the call disconnected before an operator could respond. When the 911 operator called back, no one answered.
Police do not know if Nancy and Joey were shot to death on mall property or at another unknown location. It is also unknown when Nancy’s SUV was returned to the Town Center Mall parking lot. Boca Raton detectives released sketches of a man known only as “Charles” and a photo of David Goodman to the media.
Within hours, Goodman was located at a Burger King in Miami and was eventually taken to the Miami Police Department for questioning. He was later arrested on an outstanding warrant from Broward County. The warrant is believed to be for two charges of third degree grand theft, however that detail has not yet been confirmed.
If correct, then Goodman was later convicted of the grand theft and sentenced to a year probation, which was later violated.
Regardless, Charles Jackson was located the next day and is described as cooperating with police. During questioning with detectives, Jackson stated that he found Nancy’s phone near the old Miami Arena. Using Jackson’s information, police canvassed a specific area of downtown Miami, thoroughly searched it, talked to scores of people, and passed out flyers. Police also spent countless hours reviewing surveillance video and following up on other investigative leads.
Despite airing on “America’s Most Wanted” and “Dateline,” no arrests have been made and the case remains unsolved.
CONNECTION TO RANDI GORENBERG’S MURDER
While there is no direct evidence linking the Bochicchio double homicide to any other case, Boca Raton Police created a task force in light of a carjacking homicide that also originated at the Town Center Mall on March 23, 2012.
In that case, Randi Gorenberg, age 52, was abducted from the Town Center Mall, taken to a park in Delray Beach, and shot twice in head. An eye witness called police after hearing gunshots and seeing a woman tossed from the passenger side of a black Mercedes-Benz SUV.
While police do not know what happened during the 30 minutes leading up to Randi’s murder, they do know that she was not in possession of an ATM card. They surmise that this may have caused her abductor(s) frustration. It was eventually learned that her purse, cell phone, and PUMA sneakers were stolen from her.
Unlike Nancy’s case, these items were never recovered. However, police recovered DNA from Randi’s murder and are confidant it will result in an identification of the person responsible, given enough time.
As a tangent, whenever someone is convicted of a crime in Florida, they are swabbed for a DNA sample. This sample is then analyzed to develop a unique code that corresponds to the unique features of that person’s DNA, thus creating a unique identifying number for the person who the sample was taken from, somewhat like a social security number.
Every so often, law enforcement runs checks in the DNA database to see if someone was recently swabbed who matches DNA from unsolved crimes. When a match is made, it is referred to as a “Legacy Case” and law enforcement kicks into high gear. For instance, all inmates are run through the DNA database before they are released from prison.
Aside from the recovery of DNA in the Gorenberg murder, Police were quick to recognize the striking similarities between Randi’s case and the Boccichio homicides. These similarities include:
- Victims who shopped at the Town Center Mall on a weekday afternoon
- Victims who were abducted from the Mall
- Victims who were white females, in the same age group, with an affluent appearance
- Victims who drove new SUVs, black in color
- Victims who had property stolen from them during the abduction, including purses, cell phones, and other items
- Victims who were murdered in an extremely violent and heinous fashion
In response, the Boca Raton Police Department created a special task force. However, without any viable leads to solve either case, the task force was ultimately disbanded in 2009.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
First and foremost, pay attention. The FBI has an announcement to make today that concerns this case. I am hoping it is new clues or leads. Maybe what they have to say will resonate with someone who has something to offer the investigation.
Second, you need to think about who, what, where, and when.
At the time of this homicide, were you one of those Boca moms shopping at the mall that day? Is there someone who acted in a funny way or did something that made a “red flag” go off in your mind? Did some parking lot weirdo do something to trigger that protective mother in you?
If so, what do you remember from the incident? Can you paint a mental picture of what the person looks like or what he/she was doing? Could you identify that person after all these years? Maybe it was a fleeting thought that you disregarded or maybe it unnerved you and left an imprint in your mind that you haven’t forgotten.
Where did that happen? Was it something strange at the Town Center Mall? At an ATM machine in Boca? Something near the Sears parking lot?
When did it happen? Was it the day of the homicides, the day before, a week before, six months before?
Are you an attorney who has come across some defendant or witness somewhere in some unrelated case that mentioned something odd or under his breath about this homicide or the people in it? Maybe it was a family member of a client or confidential informant.
Are you someone in recovery who hung around the Overtown area at the time of these murders who heard street talk about what happened or who was involved – but never came forward? Such people certainly exist, despite the great efforts made by law enforcement to collect information from the streets.
The possibilities are endless and I cannot come up with all of them here. Bottom line is this – far more complicated cases have been solved many years after the fact because someone came forward with a small tip that broke the case wide open.
That person may be you.
Hopefully these cases will be solved soon. We will definitely be following up on this one…