UPDATE: Thanks to a $2,000 donation by her parents, the reward is now $5,000 for information that could help the catch the killer of a 19-year-old Park Ridge woman who used to work at a popular Ridgewood bakery.
More than 2½ months after the body of Nicole Franco was found in her Florida apartment, authorities are hoping someone saw or knows something that could crack the case.
- UPDATE (Aug. 24): Parents Steve and Teri Franco of Park Ridge went to the Broward County building in Florida where Nicole was killed and handed out fliers, hoping for a break in the case. “Somebody knows something,” said Steve Franco, vowing to return until the killer is caught. They then met with a homicide detective to discuss the progress of the case.
Franco was working as a pastry chef in Boca Raton, devotedly pursuing a calling that began in her native Bergen County at Carlo’s Bake Shop.
Police said she dialed 911 to report a burglary at 3:30 a.m. on June 3.
Sheriff’s deputies went door-to-door, found a sliding-glass door open and discovered her body inside.
A neighbor told reporters that Franco had moved to the Oakland Park complex earlier this year.
Authorities said she knew a 17-year-old woman in the same neighborhood who also was found dead the same day. They said they don’t believe the killings are related.
A 2012 Park Ridge High School graduate, the upbeat Franco studied baking and pastry at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and exchanged tender messages on social networks with her parents and siblings in North Jersey. She worked at the Boca Raton Resort and Club as a pastry chef.
“This tragedy is already being felt in Park Ridge, which is a tight-knit community,” Park Ridge police Capt. Joseph Rampolla said in a statement. “We will assist the Broward Sheriff’s Office in any way we can, if needed, to help bring the responsible parties to justice.”
“Carlo’s Bakery is shocked to hear of the death of Nicole Franco,” the bakery said in a statement. “Nikki was an enthusiastic and dedicated member of the Carlo’s Bakery family and she will be surely missed.”
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