New Port Richey police reopen hotel murder case

- New Port Richey police have opened a 20-year-old cold case in hopes of solving the murder of hotel owner Chandrahas Patel. Patel was stabbed to death at the Green Key Beach Hotel on January 12 of 1998.

"He was a father. He was a husband," said Det. Edward Campbell. "He was a very good guy. He came from a good family."

Detectives reopened the case in February, citing improved computer databases to help track people down. 

They have new hope that witnesses may rethink their answers or new witnesses will see news coverage and decide to come forward.

"Maybe they knew the suspect back then and were fearful of the suspect," said Campbell. "There are so many things that could be very beneficial to get the public's help in an investigation like this."

They're still relying on composite sketches put out just after it happened. A witness described the suspect as a 5'8" to 5'10" male with a heavy build and a black cap. 

The suspect would now be in his 40s.

Detectives are also looking for a possible accomplice, someone else seen in the area. 

Right now, it's hard to predict what the key tip will be, but they know it's out there, somewhere.

"Twenty years is a long time to be walking around free after you have done something as heinous as murdering the individual," said Campbell. "To us, that would be justice, to the family, we hope it would be the same."

Police also point out there is a CrimeStoppers reward for $3,000 for anyone who leaves a tip that leads to an arrest. CrimeStoppers can be reached at 800-873-TIPS.

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