Florida police are now looking for two women after a Toronto couple was murdered in their Hallandale Beach home one year ago.
Police have also increased the reward for any information on the deaths of David Pichosky, 71, and Rochelle Wise, 66, to $57,000 US.
DNA evidence leads police to believe there are at least two suspects in the Jan. 10, 2013, murder, Hallandale police chief Dwayne Flournoy said at a Florida news conference on Wednesday.
Watch the news conference.
“We have two DNA profiles that are crime-scene specific,” Flournoy said.
“What we found to be very neat about the profile is that the DNA profiles are that of two females.”
The DNA did not match any that was in existing databases. Family and condo cleaning staff have been ruled out.
The killings may have been motivated by robbery, police have said, as Wise’s wedding band — valued at $16,000 — was the only thing missing from the couple’s condo. Flournoy described it as white, with five diamonds and a half-shaped moon.
It was also designed with a special clasp to accommodate Wise’s arthritis, he said. Searches of local pawn shops and jewellers have not turned up the unique ring, he said.
But police still do not know why the well-liked couple was apparently targeted, Flournoy said. Pichosky and Wise had no enemies, were not flashy and did not carry around large sums of money, he said.
“So we just have not been able to pinpoint the reason why someone would either target them, or was it a crime of opportunity?” Flournoy said. “I think it’s more likely that they did not know their attackers.”
During the news conference, Pichosky’s daughter Sari Rosenblum made an emotional plea for information.
“This special man was killed. He was my dad. You only get one mom and dad in your lifetime and mine was taken from me,” she said.
“Everyday is a nightmare. Our father, our grandfather was murdered. That’s crazy. We have no peace. We have no closure.”
Police had earlier said the couple was asphyxiated and their bodies bound.
Despite the amount of time that has passed since the deaths, police are still waiting for some lab results, the chief said.
Investigators collected an “inordinate” amount of evidence and the lab processed it in three rounds. Police are waiting for the results on the final round, Flournoy said.
Police have not yet been able to identify a woman seen on surveillance video walking around the couple’s home the morning police believe they were killed, but she may hold the key to solving the double homicide.
“We believe that identification of this female is critical and important to this case,” Flournoy said. So far, no one in the close-knit community has been able to identify her.
“With her being in and around the home and with two female DNA profiles being inside of the crime scene, she’s particularly someone that we want to speak with.”
A partial shoe print that was found at the scene has been identified as an Adidas shoe out of production since 2000. Investigators were not able to determine its size, nor whether it was a man’s or woman’s shoe, he said.
With files from Irene Preklet