A cold case murder has been solved after more than 23 years, Coral Springs Police announced Monday.
Retested DNA evidence identified Oba Chandler as the suspect in the November 1990 slaying of 20-year-old Ivelisse Berrios Beguerisse, police said. Chandler, 65, was executed in 2011 for three Florida murders from 1989.
Just after midnight on Nov. 27, 1990, two men returning from a fishing trip discovered Beguerisse’s lifeless body lying on the side of the street in a then-undeveloped part of Coral Springs.
"Our victim had ligature markings around her ankles and wrists," said Det. Dan Cucchi with the Coral Springs Police Department.
"[She] did nothing to deserve this. [She] was picked at random," said Det. Brian Koenig.
The Sunrise woman never made it home to her husband after finishing her shift at a Swim Sport store in the Sawgrass Mills mall. Her car was found in the parking lot of the mall. Two tires had been slashed.
"It was always suspected that the subject had lured her into a vehicle as a Good Samaritan and then later killed her," Cucchi said.
She had also been sexually assaulted. At the time DNA swabs were collected for the victim's rape kit but the crime lab could not find evidence to connect a suspect to the crime.
But now the case has been solved, thanks to advances in technology in the intervening years.
"It was matched to Mr. Oba Chandler," Cucchi said.
Chandler was executed via lethal injection in November 2011. He was sent to death row for the grisly murders of three tourists, Joan Rogers and her two teenaged daughters Michelle and Christie. They were found floating in Tampa Bay in 1989. The women were nude from the waist down. There were concrete blocks tied around their necks.
"They also were bound with rope and tossed overboard, it was believed while they were still alive," Cucchi said.
Before being put to death, Chandler's last statement was "you are killing an innocent man."
Chandler was looked at as a suspect after he was arrested in the Rogers murders because of proximity.
"He had spent a couple months living in Sunrise, Florida just about a mile and a half from the Sawgrass Mills mall, " Koenig said.
It was Koenig and Cucchi who decided to have the DNA tested once again after being assigned the cold case last summer. The Broward Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab notified the detectives on Feb. 5 that they were able to obtain a positive suspect DNA profile from the evidence submitted. After sharing the news with Beguerisse's family, they shared it with those who worked over two decades to find her killer.
"It was near to their heart for a long time and some of the investigators that worked it from the beginning, they have since retired from here," Koenig said.