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The Villages
Monday, July 26, 2021

Suspect arrested on murder charge after victim found stabbed to death

Joshua Collins
Joshua Collins

An Ocklawaha man was being held on $1.5 million bond following his arrest on a first-degree murder charge after a man was found stabbed to death with a pocket knife.

The victim has been identified as 54-year-old Jeffrey Rhom who was found dead Friday in a shed in which he had been living at a home on Daisy Lane in Frutiland Park.

The suspect is 32-year-old Joshua Lee Collins who stabbed Rhom 30 times in the chest, abdomen, back, neck and head, according to an arrest report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The arrest report indicated he used a pocket knife.

Collins’ father, who owns the shed where Rhom had been staying, returned home to find the shed “dummy locked” from the outside. He entered the shed, found Rhom and called 911.

A deputy spotted Collins, who has a lengthy criminal record, driving a pickup at 8:35 a.m. Friday on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 in the area of Register Road. The deputy activated his lights and siren and pursued the pickup to Poinsettia Avenue and Hall Street in Fruitland Park. Collins was initially arrested on a charge of driving while license suspended. He claimed he needed medical attention and was transported by Lake EMS to Leesburg Regional Medical Center. Upon his release from the hospital, he was transferred to the Lake County Jail.

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