Broward County

Firefighter found dead in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea may have been murdered, cops say

Christopher Randazzo
Christopher Randazzo Coral Springs Fire Department

A man who recently fulfilled his dream of becoming a firefighter was found dead over the weekend — and the Broward Sheriff’s Office said Monday detectives believe he was murdered.

Coral Springs-Parkland paramedic/firefighter Christopher Randazzo, 39, was found dead at about 6 a.m. Saturday at the Southern Seas Resort, 4520 El Mar Drive in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea after deputies responded to an unknown medical call. It was not clear why Randazzo, of Pompano Beach, was at the oceanfront hotel/condo building.

Randazzo, who was hired by the department in March, earned his firefighter certification from Coral Springs Regional Institute of Public Safety in 2018, the department said Sunday in a social media post. He earned his paramedic certification from the State of Florida in 2018.

“When Christopher was hired, he was asked to write a short biography about his journey to becoming a firefighter with our agency,” the department said in the post. “Of his new career, he wrote that this new job was ‘fulfilling his lifelong dreams.’”

BSO on Sunday said that detectives were conducting an investigation into Randazzo’s death.

But on Monday, the classification changed to homicide, though the department did not say why.

Randazzo was last seen leaving the Aruba Beach Cafe, 1 Commercial Blvd., at about 1 a.m. According to the Sun Sentinel, Randazzo worked at Aruba Beach Cafe for about 20 years before becoming a firefighter.

According to a BSO flyer being circulated with Randazzo’s picture, the homicide occurred sometime between 1 and 6 a.m. Saturday at the Southern Seas Resort.

Anyone with information is asked to call BSO Homicide Det. Jeffrey Curtis or Det. Wilson Dejesus at 954-321-4210 or call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.