AVENTURA (CBS4) — In the shadow of the Aventura country club life style, beyond the image of healthy living, is a gruesome murder. 76 year old Irving Sicherer, known as Al to his friends, was savagely beaten and stabbed to death inside his apartment.
His daughter Beverly made the horrific discovery on July 23, 2001.
“I opened the door to the apartment,” she recalled. “I walked in and saw my dad and it was horrible, absolutely horrible,” she said. “I do believe he had his eyes open, I remember his eyes. I remember I went over and said, ‘I’m so sorry daddy.'”
For the first time, CBS4 News got an inside look at the crime scene. It stretched from one side of the apartment to the other and it was very bloody.
“He was beaten with a heavy object, about his head and neck area and also was stabbed,” said Aventura Police Detective Michael Giordano. “This killer was angry, he wanted Mr. Sicherer dead. For what we don’t know yet.”
One possibility is that the killer intended to rob Sicherer. His bedroom was ransacked, every drawer was open and much of the contents spilled onto the bed. Police believe his killer is a young dark haired man seen with Sicherer the night of the murder at a nearby Publix Supermarket. The two were captured on surveillance video.
“He does walk with a slight hunch,” said Det. Giordano. “He humps over, leans forward.”
Another surveillance picture of the two was snapped in the elevator shortly before Sicherer’s life was viciously snuffed out. Investigators believe the two may have met on the beach or perhaps Sicherer picked up his killer at a Sunny Isles Beach gay bar with plans to bring him back to his condo. Although the killer took off after the murder, he did leave crucial evidence behind such as finger prints and DNA. Both are in national data bases, but so far, there’s been no hit. That leads me to believe that either the killer hasn’t committed another crime since, he may not be alive, or he could possibly be out of the country,” said Giordano.
But there was a glimmer of hope when a partial DNA hit popped up. There was no name, just information leading to a prison inmate in Michigan.
“We don’t believe this is the actual person who committed the crime,” said Aventura Police Major Skip Washa. “We’ve been told there are matches to show in the family line so it could be a brother, a cousin somebody in that family chain.”
Major Washa has been involved with the case since the beginning. He hoped this partial DNA match could at least lead them to someone related to the killer.
When police here asked Michigan officials to identify the inmate, detectives were shocked at the response.
“Unfortunately, Michigan has a policy where they will not release any information on the individual whose DNA is a possible match. And we’ve been trying since 2009 to negotiate with Michigan.”
“It is frustrating,” said Beverly Sicherer. “You definitely feel like the people who have been convicted of crimes and are incarcerated have more rights than the victims. What about my dad’s rights?”
For Beverly it’s infuriating that a policy stands in the way of possibly finding a killer, her father’s killer.
As Aventura police continue to work with Michigan authorities, 11 years later Beverly is still picking up the pieces of heartbreak. “There’s a part of me that died that day too,” she said. She fights off nightmares of finding her father’s bloody body those years ago and tries to block out the violent scene etched in her mind by remembering the days when she stood smiling by his side or his warm embrace that felt so good. “He was a good father,” she said. “My dad’s love was unconditional. He was a good guy, He was a nice man. He really was.”
If you have information that can help investigators, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.