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Crime

At least two suspects involved in death of Toronto couple in Florida: Police

WATCH: There has been a break in the case of a retired Canadian couple who were killed in their Florida home last year.  Mike Drolet has the details. 

TORONTO – DNA evidence collected at the scene where a Toronto couple was killed in Florida last year suggests at least two female suspects were involved in the murder, Hallandale Beach police said Wednesday.

“The evidence tells and the science tells us that there are two females that are involved in this homicide, at least two,” said Hallandale Beach police Chief Dwayne Flournoy at a press conference. “The DNA profile comes specifically from the crime scene.”

The bodies of David Pichosky, 71, and Rochelle Wise, 66, of Toronto were found in their Florida condo on Jan. 10, 2013, after friends reported they hadn’t picked them up as scheduled the previous day.

Autopsies concluded the deaths were homicide by asphyxiation, although police haven’t specified whether it was by hand or a ligature.

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READ MORE: Timeline: Canadian couple slain in Florida

Members of Pichosky’s family flew from Toronto to Florida Wednesday to plead for information leading to the arrest of the suspects.

“Our families have no closure, and it’ll be a great help if we can get this case solved,” said Pichosky’s son Mark during the press conference.

Pishosky’s daughter told the media her father lost his wife to cancer seven years ago and that his relationship with Rochelle was “a second chance at love and happiness.”

“For our family every day is a nightmare. Our father, grandfather, was murdered. That’s crazy,” said Sari Rosenblum. “We have no peace, we have no closure, we have no understanding of why this has happened.”

VIDEO: Family and friends of Toronto couple make an emotional plea

Police say they recovered a foot print of an Adidas shoe called the “Super Nova” at the scene of the crime which was made in the year 2000 and is now out of production.

Investigators also released a composite sketch of a female suspect shown in a security video last February of her walking to the rear of the couple’s home.

So far, the woman has not yet been identified.

“In that particular community, it’s a close knit community,” said Chief Flournoy. “We have shown that video to everyone. No one knows who this lady is.”

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Hallandale Beach police release a composite sketch of a female suspect in the murder of a Toronto couple last year in Florida.
Hallandale Beach police release a composite sketch of a female suspect in the murder of a Toronto couple last year in Florida. Hallandale Beach Police

Last April, investigators said the slayings may have been motivated by robbery as Wise’s wedding band, valued at $16,000, was missing from the couple’s condo.

“From the victimology of Donny and Rochelle, they have no enemies. They did not carry large sums of money around them. They were not flashy,” said Flournoy.

“We’ve not been able to pinpoint the reason why someone would either target them or was it a crime of opportunity?”

A reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects responsible for the homicides has now risen to $57,000.

“They had their whole life ahead of them. They were very special people. They loved Florida,” said Pearl Gladman, a close friend of Wise.

“I’m appealing to anyone out there, if you know anything at all, to help police solve this.”

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-with files from The Canadian Press