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Police follow new lead in killings of Canadian snowbirds

The bodies of David Pichosky, 71, and Rochelle Wise, 66, were discovered by a neighbour on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in Hallandale, Fla. Credit: CTV

A month after the unresolved double murder of a Canadian couple in their Florida winter condo, police are trying to identify a woman who came to their house the day before their bodies were found.

Popular in Toronto because of their active volunteering activities, David Pichosky and Rochelle Wise were found dead on Jan. 10 in their home in Venetian Park, a neighbourhood favoured by retirees in Hallandale Beach, north of Miami.

The previous day, the Hallandale Beach Police Department said, a neighbour's security camera recorded a woman arriving at the home, carrying an unidentified item.

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The three-minute video shows a corpulent woman in a dark jacket, light-coloured pants and white sneakers.

She arrived in the morning and walked slowly through the grassy lane between the two townhouses, holding a small object, then returned empty handed.

Mr. Pichosky, 71, and Ms. Wise, 66, were supposed to have lunch on that day with a friend who also lived in the area.

By 6 p.m. the next day, the friend still hadn't heard from them and used a spare key to check their home, where he discovered the bodies.

The Hallandale Beach Police said anyone who could help identify the woman on the video should contact Detective Lane Sauls at 954-457-1438. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS or online to receive up to a $1,000 reward, the police said.

"The woman is not a suspect or person of interest. We would like to speak to her to see if she heard or saw anything," a spokeswoman, Captain Sonia Quinones, told The Globe and Mail in an e-mail.

The police have assured local residents that the general public was not at risk in the wake of the killings.

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Hallandale's police chief and homicide detectives flew to Toronto late last month, interviewing relatives and friends to learn more about the two victims.

Mr. Pichosky and Ms. Wise lived in North York.

She was a former preschool vice-principal at Bialik Hebrew Day School. She was also a founding director of the Crestwood Valley Day Camp.

Known to friends and relatives as Donny, Mr. Pichosky was a retired businessman who was an active member of the Shaarei Shomayim synagogue, a Modern Orthodox Jewish congregation.

They married four years ago after meeting at a blind date arranged by their children.

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About the Author
National reporter

Tu Thanh Ha is based in Toronto and writes frequently about judicial, political and security issues. He spent 12 years as a correspondent for the Globe and Mail in Montreal, reporting on Quebec politics, organized crime, terror suspects, space flights and native issues. More


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