Suspect charged as accessory in Fla. firefighter’s killing has disappeared

Marco Rico was being held for sentencing after pleading guilty in the murder of Coral Springs firefighter-paramedic Christopher Randazzo


By Lisa J. Huriash
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — One of the men held in the 2019 killing of a firefighter in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea has disappeared after ditching his ankle bracelet, court records show.

According to prosecutors, a warrant was issued for Marco Rico, who records show faced sentencing after pleading guilty to accessory after the fact in the murder of firefighter Chris Randazzo.

Randazzo was shot dead in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea when three robbers stole his iPhone and other belongings — his wallet with $55, a knife and red Nike sneakers — at gunpoint and took off in a car, leaving him alive on the street. But when they realized they couldn’t unlock the phone, they came back.

Coral Springs Firefighter-Paramedic Chris Randazzo was shot dead in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea when three robbers stole his iPhone and other belongings in 2019.
Coral Springs Firefighter-Paramedic Chris Randazzo was shot dead in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea when three robbers stole his iPhone and other belongings in 2019. (Photo/Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department)

They demanded that the off-duty Coral Springs firefighter unlock it. He refused. So they killed him, authorities say.

At one point that night, two other men, Jose Garcia Romero and Torrey Holston, had approached Randazzo as Rico waited in the car, ready to make a getaway after the robbery, an arrest report said. The two other suspects, Romero and Holston, were charged with murder and robbery and remain in a Broward jail awaiting trial.

Court records show after his 2019 arrest, Rico was allowed to attend religious services once a week, for up to four hours. He was granted additional leave in March 2021 when he was allowed to be away from home to find a job, for up to 10 hours a week.

In December, he got a job working as a server and in delivery for a restaurant. He was granted an extra hour to go to work and to get home. On March 13, he got permission to leave his home from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “for the purpose of church.”

Authorities would later learn through GPS tracking that he was at the Palm Beach Fashion Outlets and a West Palm Beach Red Lobster. He didn’t show to work at 3 p.m. that day and on March 15 did not return home at 10 p.m.

On March 16, about 4:40 a.m., “the defendant tampered with the ankle transmitter, removing it from his ankle, rendering the unit inoperable. Defendant’s whereabouts and activities are unknown,” according to the court file.

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©2022 South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Visit sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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