Search continues for mother, daughter murderer - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Search continues for mother, daughter murderer

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Update, Monday 9 a.m: The search grows wider for the person who killed a Boca Raton mother and her 8-year-old daughter.

Boca Raton Mayor Steven Abrams has come to the Town Center Mall every day since Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter, Joey, were found murdered there. He and police officers are patrolling the parking lots looking for anything unusual.

"The motivation to drive us right now is how heinous this was, the loss of a child and mother. Our detectives are taking this, we are taking this very personal," says Boca Raton Police Chief DAn Alexander.

Boca Raton Police say they're pouring through hundreds of hours of surveillance video and forensic evidence to try to catch the Bochicchio's killer.

The FBI, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Marshals also joined in the search.

If you have any information about this case, there is a $350,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.

Team Coverage: Lindsay Cohen and John Bachman

Previously: A mother and her 8-year-old daughter are found shot to death in the parking lot of a popular mall.

It's nothing short of horrifying. The mother and daughter found dead inside their SUV with the engine still running.

We have team coverage from how the mall is trying to make holiday shoppers feel safe to how the mother and little girl are being remembered.

Police are looking at surveillance video from this parking lot to see what clues it might yield.

"The black SUV in the parking lot was left running, and so security noticed it around 12:30 this [Thursday] morning."

Neighbor Hank Matthews asks, "What kind of a [person] would do this?" Incessant questions from neighbors as to who would kill Nancy Bochicchio and her 8-year-old daughter, Joey. Their bodies found at the Boca Town Center Mall after what police believe may have been a robbery and homicide.

Their presence beloved by friends in their west Boca neighborhood. "That's the haunting part of this. You would never think someone like this, but I guess it happens to everybody and anybody," says neighbor Robert Strauss.

"I have an everlasting photo of the two of them in my mind. They were just wonderful people, and you couldn't ask for better neighbors," adds Hank.

Now, those neighbors, like those at Joey's school, St. Jude's Catholic, are left to cope.

Police are releasing few details about how the mother and daughter were killed leaving friends and family sad and stunned. "She was a shining star, and so was her daughter," describes Robert.

Hank says, "They were just wonderful people. Joey was going to have her birthday on Sunday. We were going to go to her birthday party."

Authorities say some money was taken from the Bochicchios, but they won't say how much.

They are also looking at similarities between this incident and another carjacking and kidnapping at the mall back in August.

The medical examiner will now determine the cause of death.

Meanwhile, security had already been stepped up for the holidays. But is it being cranked up even more?

While the mall was still open Thursday with its normal hours, there were constant patrols by Boca Raton Police Officers.

Shoppers and people working near the mall say that provides some comfort, but the discover of two dead bodies in the parking lot, naturally, has everyone pretty shaken up.

"It was very unsettling that a tragedy like that could happen in our community - especially in such a public area," says Megan Gerrity, who works at a salon next to the mall.

Megan, like so many of her co-workers and customers, could not believe the terrible details of this case. A 47-year-old woman and her 8-year-old daughter found dead in a still-running SUV. Both victims of an apparent robbery... maybe more.

Matt Hicks, mall shuttle driver, says, "Everybody's saying how scared they are right now because what happened. Normally, you'd probably run people [to their cars] about every 10 minutes. But, right now, every time you stop, somebody's jumping in."

The shuttle service takes customers from the front door of the stores straight to their cars. Matt says few shoppers are taking chances Thursday night.

Boca Raton Police say there is a chance this case is related to a similar robbery at the mall back in August leaving people, like Megan, to reconsider her safety. "Now I do, and especially being a young female and running errands late at night by myself or even in broad daylight, I'm realizing that I need to be more careful."

The manager of the mall did issue a statement Thursday about this:

The safety and welfare of our shoppers, visitors and tenants is always our foremost concern. We are aware of the isolated overnight incident. We are cooperating with the Boca Raton Police Department in their investigation.

As the investigation continues, shoppers can expect more police and more security at the mall.

Police need your help. If you anything about this double murder, call Crime Stoppers at 1.800.458.TIPS.

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