"MALL ABDUCTOR/MURDERER-TARGETING PARENTS WITH KIDS"
BOCA RATON — Eerie similarities exist between an Aug. 7 armed robbery and kidnapping at the Town Center mall and a Dec. 12 double-homicide at the same shopping center: In both cases, victims were bound at the neck and had goggles pulled over their heads, according to a relative of the earlier victim and a source familiar with the homicide investigation.
Boca Raton police say only that there are similarities between the two crimes, but will not elaborate.
The first victim, a 30-year-old woman shopping with her two year old son, was driven to an ATM, forced at gunpoint to withdraw $600, taken back to the mall and released.
Four months later, Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and daughter, Joey-Bochicchio-Hauser, 7, (above) were found bound and shot in her idling SUV, Boca Raton police said. An unknown amount of money was stolen.
Nancy Bochicchio was found with a plastic zip-tie around her neck and she and her daughter both were shot in the head at point-blank range, according to sources familiar with the investigation. Boca Raton police would not confirm those details. Their bodies were found after midnight Dec. 13 in Bochicchio's black 2007 Chrysler Aspen SUV outside the Sears loading dock at 6000 W. Glades Road.
Bochicchio was bound at the neck with a plastic tie, a source said. A relative of the Aug. 7 victim said her neck and feet were also bound, her wrists handcuffed and her head tied to her car seat. Goggles were pulled over her eyes, the relative said.
The relative said Boca Raton police did not initially believe all the details of the first victim's story. But when the Bochicchios were found dead, police sought the earlier victim out, believing the attacks were probably carried out by the same man. She described her attacker to police, who drafted and circulated a composite sketch identifying the man as a "person of interest" in the double-homicide investigation. Police haven't found the man pictured in the sketch. Hours after the Bochicchios were discovered, Charles Jackson, 50, a homeless man, found the murdered woman's cellphone in a lot by the Miami Arena in Overtown.
He gave it to a Miami police officer, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
Unaware that it was a key piece of evidence in the double-homicide investigation, the Miami officer drove around with the cellphone in her car for several hours, until Boca Raton and Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office detectives caught up with her Thursday night; when detectives retraced the officer's steps in a search for the homeless man, known only as Charles, he was nowhere to be found, the source said.
Investigators found Jackson and another man wanted for questioning, 40-year-old David Goodman, (both men pictured directly above) after circulating pictures of the men on Tuesday. That night, Boca Raton detectives tracked Goodman to a Burger King at Biscayne Boulevard and 17th Terrace in Miami and questioned him about the case. Afterward, Miami-Dade authorities arrested him on a grand theft auto warrant and took him to a Miami-Dade jail.
Goodman eventually will be moved from Miami-Dade to the Broward County jail, Broward authorities said. Police said Goodman's cooperating, but would not release any information about what he told detectives. How Bochicchio's cellphone got from her SUV in Boca Raton to the lot in Overtown remains unclear, though the Town Center mall is only four miles down Glades Road from southbound Interstate 95.
Officials said the double-homicide investigation has become a priority for every officer at the Boca Raton Police department. Meanwhile, the family member of the Aug. 7 victim said she is terrified that her attacker will track her down and try to harm her. The woman went to police after the robbery and explained that she and her 2-year-old son had been inside their vehicle in the Nordstrom parking garage when the gunman got into the car and held them at gunpoint, the relative said. He made her drive to an ATM and withdraw $600. He took her back to the mall, leaving she and her son bound tightly in the car. The woman's neck was bound so that she could not move it from her seat back. Her feet and wrists were also bound. Her attacker slid goggles over her eyes, the relative said. Somehow, the woman managed to get out of her vehicle.
She and her son survived with cuts and bruises.
A day after the crime, police released a one-paragraph announcement stating that detectives were investigating an alleged armed robbery. It said the victim stated she was attacked by an unknown white man in the first level of the parking garage near Nordstrom, and that an undetermined amount of money had been taken. It asked anyone with information on the crime to call the detective working the case. The statement made no mention of goggles, of the victim being bound, or being forced to withdraw money.
Although the woman in the August attack was made to withdraw $600 from an ATM before she and her son were left at the mall, police won't say whether Bochicchio was forced to do the same.
After the Dec. 12 killings, investigators re-interviewed the earlier victim and drafted a composite sketch of the gunman (above) based on her months-old recollections.
Detectives suspect the killer was involved in crimes in other areas as well.
To catch him, investigators have enlisted the help of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, which is profiling the killer from Quantico, Va. Police are also working closely with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and have reached out to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and U.S. Marshals Service, among other agencies.
City officials are offering a $350,000 reward for tips leading to the killer. Anyone with information should call Boca Raton police at (561) 338-1352 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-8477.
Source: Kevin Deutsch and Michael LaForgia at the Palm Beach Post