Police in Florida re-open 20-year-old murder case of Indian American man

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Detective Edward Campbell of the New Port Richey Police Department in Florida has found video evidence of the murder of Indian American businessman Chandrahas Patel who was murdered in his motel lobby 20 years ago.

According to a Tampa Bay Times report, Patel was stabbed multiple times in the lobby of Green Key Beach Motel at about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, 1998 and was pronounced dead less than an hour later at the now Morton Plant North Bay Hospital.

Police decided to re-open the investigation 20 years later after new video evidence shows “a white male in his early 20s, standing between 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, with a heavy build, wearing a black beanie cap” standing over Patel’s body with a knife in his hand, according to a WFLA report.

Police also believe that the murderer is still out there and are willing to see if any witness comes forward 20 years later.

“You know, he tried to run a good, clean establishment. Hopefully, we can bring justice,” Detective Campbell told WFLA.

Patel was the owner of the Green Key Beach Motel located along U.S. Highway 19 in New Port Richey, Florida.

According to a Tampa Bay Times report, Patel lived with his wife Villas and their two children at the motel which they had owned for eight and a half years at the time.

At around 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, 1998, Patel’s then 16-year-old daughter heard a commotion in the family’s apartment which was above the motel office.

When she went downstairs to check, she saw her father struggling with a man whom she did not recognize after which her father told her to go upstairs and lock the apartment door.

A motel employee told the Tampa Bay Times (then-St. Petersburg Times) back then that no money was taken from the motel’s register.

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a $3,000 reward for any information that leads to the identification and arrest of any suspects in this case.

Police have so far identified another person who Campbell said could be a witness to the crime or possibly know the suspect.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers by either calling 1-800-873-8477, or sending an anonymous tip at www.crimestopperstb.com or sending a tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application.

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