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Florida police turn to DNA phenotyping to solve Toronto couple's murder

Last Updated Apr 14, 2016 at 11:29 pm EST

Florida police have turned to DNA phenotyping in an effort to stop the 2013 murder of a Toronto couple from going cold.

Hallandale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy told the media on Tuesday that they have not had any new witnesses come forward in a year and all of their existing leads have been exhausted.

“We began to travel between Toronto, we’ve been to New York, several parts of Florida and Georgia investigating this,” he said “We’re confident we have the ability to solve this case. We’re just missing one tip. We’re one lead away from solving this case.”

David Pichosky, 71, and Rochelle Wise, 66, were found dead in their winter home in Hallandale Beach, Florida, on Jan. 10, 2013. They both died of asphyxiation.

Two DNA profiles were found at the scene – leading police on the hunt for two women.

Police said they are constantly running the DNA through CODUS (the American DNA database), the Canadian DNA database and the European DNA database but have yet to come up with a match.

“That means the owners of this DNA haven’t been arrested, have never been arrested … they’re not in any database,” Flournoy explained.

Police then turned to DNA phenotyping to do an ancestry analysis in the hope of getting a clearer look at who these suspects are. Of the two DNA profiles collected at the crime scene, only one was able to produce an ancestry profile.

“We were only able to get one profile that snapshot was able to complete. The other did not have enough DNA to produce a snapshot,” Flournoy said.

According to the analysis, it’s believed one of the suspects is of European South East decent, with possibly hazel eyes and brown or black hair colour. The woman is believed to have a light to olive complexion.

Flournoy said this new profile will enable investigators to narrow down their suspect search field. He said he believes this profile belongs to the same person seen in a security video released last year.

“When you look at the video you can see very similar characteristics,” Flournoy explained.

But police still do not know why the well-liked couple was apparently targeted. Pichosky and Wise had no enemies, were not flashy and did not carry around large sums of money, he said.

It’s believed the altercation began at the couple’s front door and the possible motivation was robbery although the only thing taken was Wise’s wedding ring – which has yet to be recovered.

A partial shoe print that was found at the scene has been identified as an Adidas shoe out of production since 2002.