Cold case arrest: Murder charges 17 years later

U.S. & World

(WFLA/NBC News) Florida police have arrested a suspect in the 2001 murder of a New Port Richey man.

Police found Simon Clarke dead near a home construction site, beaten to death with a baseball bat.

He’d gone there to help a friend check on some financial irregularities.

Police back then focused on Randy Petersilge, but they didn’t have enough evidence to make an arrest. That recently changed.

“I was lucky enough to locate some witnesses when I was assigned the case. They were a little more forthcoming than they were during the original investigation,” says Detective Joe Ioppolo.

Detective Loppolo got the cold case in 2016, dug through old files, and eventually got a grand jury to indict Petersilge.

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