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Pasco detectives arrest suspect in 2001 cold case killing

Published Nov. 14, 2015

Pasco sheriff's detectives made an arrest Friday in a 14-year-old cold case homicide.

Deputies charged Michael John Orlando, 31, with manslaughter and evidence tampering in the Feb. 5, 2001, stabbing death of Jesse Nacarlo, 27, outside of an apartment complex on Alnwick Circle in Port Richey.

Reports at the time indicated it was a drug brawl. One suspect, Michael Mitchell, fled to Greece, where detectives think he remains, before investigators could interview him. Orlando was not a suspect at the time.

Cold case detectives re-examined the case in April and fielded a tip that Orlando had been involved, according to Orlando's arrest report. The tipster said Orlando called his cousin, Gary Gyulay, the night of the incident.

Detectives first tracked down Gyulay's ex-girlfriend, Lisa McAbee, who said she answered the phone the night of the incident to find Orlando on the other end "frantic." He asked to speak with Gyulay and McAbee overheard Gyulay say to Orlando, "Get rid of the knife," the arrest report said.

Later, detectives found Gyulay, who confirmed that Orlando called him that night and that Orlando admitted to stabbing Nacarlo.

On Thursday, someone who was with Orlando the night of the homicide contacted the Sheriff's Office. The witness saw Orlando with a bloody folding knife, the report said, and Orlando told the witness he had been in a fight in which another man was stabbed.

Then Orlando and the witness got rid of the knife in the woods.

In an interview with detectives on Friday, Orlando initially denied being involved in the homicide, but later said he was with Mitchell when Nacarlo was stabbed.

Detectives took Orlando into custody. He was being held without bail Friday at the Land O'Lakes Detention Center.

Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or jsolomon@tampabay.com. Follow @josh_solomon15.