Police have recovered DNA evidence from two women in the heartbreaking double-murder of a Jewish retiree couple who were found slain in their Florida condo home.
The female suspects have not yet been identified in the killings of Rochelle Wise and David (Donny) Pichosky — and police in the Ft. Lauderdale suburb of Hallandale Beach concede the case has proven stubbornly difficult to solve.
Heartbroken relatives admitted they never thought they would be mourning the couple at a press conference called to mark the first anniversary of the slayings.
“As horrible as we all know murders are, we never think it would happen to someone we love,” Sari Rosenblum, Pichosky’s daughter, said.
“Over the past 12 months, we have learned to live in a new reality,” she added. “The sun comes up, the birds may be singing but for our family, every day is a nightmare.”
Wise, 66, and Pichosky, 71, both of Toronto, were found dead in their Florida condo by a neighbor on January 10, 2013. Last year, it was revealed that the couple had been asphyxiated, although police have not said how.
Police revealed on Wednesday that they were also bound.
The DNA revealed by police Wednesday does not match anyone who would have had permitted access to the slain couple’s home, or to any of the entries in the FBI and Canadian law enforcement databases.
Chief of Police Dwayne Flournoy told reporters that the forensic evidence collected at the crime scene showed that there were at least two perpetrators, and that both are female. He called that description unusual.
In addition, it is believed that the suspects were in the condo for some time.
A unisex Adidas footwear print was found at the crime scene, but because it was incomplete, it has been impossible to determine the shoe’s size.
Flournoy said the police have not identified a motive for the murders, saying that their investigation indicated that Wise and Pichosky “had no enemies, didn’t carry around a lot of cash, and were not flashy.”
The only item discovered to be missing and unaccounted for was Wise’s $16,000 platinum and diamond wedding band with a unique clasp.
The ring has not shown up in local pawnshops or been spotted by local jewelers. In addition, the couple’s credit cards have not been used.
This has all left the police unable to determine whether the couple was targeted, or whether they were murdered in a crime of opportunity.
“This is a very complex case,” said Flournoy. “But we are going to solve it.”
The police previously released a security video showing a woman walking outside the Wise-Pichosky home around the time of the crime, but the woman has not yet been identified.
Police still believe the mystery woman could be a key to solving the crime.
“She’s in and around the home around the time they were compromised,” Flournoy said. “No one knows who this lady is. This is a tight-knit, non-transient community, and no one recognized the woman in the video. She is someone we particularly want to speak with.”
A reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderers of Wise and Pichosky has been raised to $57,000 has raised the reward. Tips can be called in to 1-866-493-8477.
Wise was a beloved member of the Toronto Jewish community. She was a former director of Crestwood Valley Day Camp and vice-principal of the preschool division at Bialik Hebrew Day School. The couple wed in 2009.
She and Pichosky married in 2009. They lived in Toronto during the summers and spent winters at the condo in an affluent condo complex called Venetian Park, which sits on an island in the Intracoastal Waterway, dotted with miniature palm trees.
The last person to have had contact with the retired couple was their daughter-in-law Suzanne Pichosky, who chatted with them using the FaceTime computer app early on the morning of January 9.
“We were in Orlando with our kids and just called to say hi,” she told the press conference, “and tell them we were enjoying Disney World.”