Arrest made in 18-year-old NPR homicide

Randy Petersilge, 51, was arrested last week for the murder of a man in New Port Richey in 2001.

NEW PORT RICHEY – A 51-year-old man with a face and skull covered in tattoos has been arrested for the killing of a New Port Richey man nearly two decades ago.

The New Port Richey Police Department sent out a media alert last week announcing the arrest of Randy Petersilge for first-degree homicide. Officers arrested the suspect and transported him to the Pasco County Jail after he was released from federal prison on April 5.

The murder occurred on Nov. 28, 2001 at the construction site of a future home to be located at 4725 Sanctuary Drive in New Port Richey and the victim was 41-year-old Simon Clark. New Port Richey Police officers investigating the homicide found Clark to have been murdered as a result of blunt force trauma. The initial investigation resulted in no arrests, but Petersilge was identified as a possible suspect.

The police department reopened the cold case in 2017, with lead investigator Det. Joseph Ioppolo conducting additional investigation and interviews.

The investigation homed in on Petersilge and a grand jury indicted him on Jan. 11, 2018, on one count of first-degree murder. Petersilge was incarcerated in a federal prison on other charges during the time of his indictment and a detainer was placed on him.