By Joan Murray

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OAKLAND PARK (CBSMiami) — The murder of 19-year-old Nicole Franco, an aspiring pastry chef, rocked her Oakland Park apartment complex when she was found stabbed to death in the summer of 2014.

b7c52ff5dd054483a0258ab67d590bf8 Prosecutors: Teen Broke Into Apt, Stabbed Woman When She Woke Up

(Source: Broward Sheriff’s Office)

Franco moved to South Florida from New Jersey and attended the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, working as a pastry chef at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

It would be five months before the Broward Sheriff’s Office charged 15-year-old D’Marcus Tucker with her murder.

They said Tucker, who lived in an adjacent building, broke into Franco’s apartment and stole her wallet, but panicked when she woke up.

“When he was about to leave the apartment, he stepped on her purse, startling her,” said Det. Kevin Forsberg. “And then she sat up and he stabbed her and he fled the room.”

Tucker, who is now 18 years old, is being tried for the murder. Prosecutors are relying on DNA evidence they say ties Tucker to the crime — his skin cells were found on Nicole Franco’s bed comforter.

At the time of his arrest, Tucker was being held at a juvenile facility in Fort Myers on an unrelated case.

“She was always trying to help people,” said Franco’s teary-eyed mother. Her parents reflected on the pain of losing their daughter. “We will never see our baby girl walk down the aisle. She will never give us precious grandchildren to hold.”


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