Thousands of people swarm to the vast and luxurious Town Center Mall every day. But one man who went to the Boca Raton, Fla., shopping center last August was shopping only for a victim.
The man abducted a woman and her 2-year-old son in their black SUV from the mall parking lot. Although the woman and son survived uninjured, she remains terrorized to this day. The woman, who asks to be identified as Jane Doe, worries that the man will hunt her down and kill her to protect his identity.
She's convinced that the same man later murdered another woman and her 7-year-old daughter. That woman, Nancy Bochicchio, was also driving a black sport utility vehicle, shopping at the same mall and was bound in a similar fashion, according to police. The only difference was that Jane Doe and her son survived, and Nancy and her daughter, Joey, did not.
And the worry does not end there. A few months before Jane Doe's abduction, a woman named Randi Gorenberg who, once again, was driving a black SUV and shopping at the same mall, was found killed a few miles away.
Jane Doe's lawyer, Skip Cummings, believes that the same man is responsible for the attack, and that he's on the loose in the area of Florida known as the Gold Coast.
"I believe that this gentleman is a serial killer," he said. "I believe very strongly that he is involved in at least three of these murders -- and who knows how many other ones?"
But the Boca Raton Police Department and Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office detective, who are working the cases, lack the evidence to know for sure, and they haven't ruled out anything.
"I think these are unique cases," Palm Beach sheriff's office Capt. Jack Strenges said. "As far as calling it a serial killer, by definition, I can't commit to that."
Boca Raton Police Capt. Matt Duggan said that calling the man a serial killer is irresponsible.
"We have no direct forensic links at this point actually linking all three cases," he said. "But we are confident that the August [Jane Doe] and December [Nancy Bochicchio] case occurred by the same individual."
But even that possible link has raised questions. Some wonder why the general public didn't hear about the Jane Doe case until after the Bochicchio killings.
Jane Doe believes it is because the police doubted her story.
"I just couldn't believe that it was taken so lightly," she said. "It's kind of sad, but I said, 'Did I have to be murdered to be taken seriously?'"
Jane Doe said it all began as a normal shopping trip. She drove to the mall with her young son and parked her black Lincoln Navigator in a parking lot near Nordstrom department store.
After about two hours of shopping, she walked back to the vehicle and placed her son in his car seat in the rear passenger side. Then, she said, after putting some shopping bags in the front passenger seat and the stroller in the back, she walked around the SUV to the driver's seat.
Only then, she said, did she hear her son cry out for her. That's when, she said, she looked back into the car and was shocked to see a man seated there next to her boy holding a gun to his head.
"I was shaking, and I was just in disbelief that this was happening," she said. "He said 'Get in the car now.'"