Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco man's death considered suspicious

HUDSON — Authorities are investigating the death of a man found in his house Tuesday morning. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is calling Theodore "Ted" Peck's death suspicious.

He was 53. Records show he had several brushes with the law and two stays in prison, but neighbors described Peck as a generous, kind man. The Sheriff's Office is releasing little about the case. Spokesman Doug Tobin said it did not appear to be a random attack.

"We don't believe there is a concern for the public at this point in our investigation," Tobin said.

A neighbor said several people lived with Peck at 7110 Stevens Drive, which is just off Old Dixie Highway. The home is light blue. The road is sand, bordered by thick trees. Other than dogs barking, there is little noise out this way.

Tobin said paramedics responded to the home at 11:21 a.m. Tuesday and found Peck unconscious. He was transported to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where he died.

"The cause of his death is of concern to us and we are investigating," said Sgt. Eric Seltzer of the major crimes unit. He said there were no suspects in custody. The medical examiner's office will determine Peck's cause of death.

Among the people living at Peck's home was an older man with health problems and a transient whom Peck had persuaded to come inside from living in the woods, neighbors said. Peck called the man Pop, and treated him as family, even though they weren't related.

Peck had a troubled history, according to criminal records. He served two stints in prison, from 2000 to 2002 for child abuse and child neglect and 1983 to 1984 for burglary. The abuse and neglect case was in Port Richey. Peck's 2-year-old son was found wandering the streets by himself at 11 p.m. An officer recognized the child and knew Peck was the father. When officials got to Peck's home, he was lying on the kitchen floor. There was no food in the kitchen and only two 12-packs of beer and a bottle of orange juice in the refrigerator, authorities said. Peck woke up before paramedics arrived and told the officer he had been drinking.

Peck insisted the child never left the house.

Peck "showed no concern" about what could have happened to his child, the officer wrote in a report.

On May 17, Peck was charged with possession of oxycodone and possession of drug paraphernalia, Pasco court records say. It was his sixth run-in with the law in Pasco since his release from prison in 2002.

In March 2010, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for driving with a suspended or revoked license.

He previously pleaded no contest to battery and several traffic charges; having no motor vehicle registration, no valid driver's license and knowingly driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Neighbor Brian McClaughry said Peck was a good man. When rats chewed through the electrical cords running to McClaughry's trailer, Peck let him use his electricity, running cords across the street, until McClaughry could get his wiring fixed.

"He didn't have to do that," McClaughry, 61. "He was a really nice guy."

Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Pasco man's death considered suspicious 05/24/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Forecast: Soggy, yet hot, workweek ahead across Tampa Bay


    A soggy workweek is ahead across Tampa Bay as decent chances for scattered storms remain consistent over the next several days.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Travel ban, Kennedy retirement speculation the focus as Supreme Court prepares for break


    WASHINGTON — Before taking their long summer break, the Supreme Court justices are poised to act on the Trump administration's travel ban and a separation of church and state dispute involving a Missouri church playground.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, shown in 2007, has given no public sign that he would step down this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration. Kennedy's departure would allow conservatives to take firm control of the court. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida education news: Guns, charter schools, drug education and more


    HOSTILE WORK PLACE: A legal review determines that while a University of South Florida technology center former director might have been boorish and hostile, …

  4. Fire crews battle blaze at apartment complex near Seminole Heights


    Fire crews are battling a blaze that broke out early Monday morning at an apartment complex near Seminole Heights, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

  5. PolitiFact Florida: Claim that 5.7 million noncitizens voted is wrong

    State Roundup

    President Donald Trump's unfounded allegations that millions voted illegally in 2016 is back in the news, with his supporters pointing to a new analysis that claims millions of undocumented immigrants voted in 2008.

    Instances of noncitizens voting have been reported, but evidence points to a small number among millions of votes cast.