Man kills woman in ‘jealous fit of rage,’ Flagler sheriff says

Victim identified as 31-year-old Jillian Marie Petrotto

Ronald Collins
Ronald Collins (News 6)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A man killed his on-again, off-again girlfriend in a “jealous fit of rage” then wrapped her body in blankets and hid it in a trailer, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the body of 31-year-old Jillian Marie Petrotto was found in a trailer on Florida Avenue in Bunnell at about 4 p.m. Monday.

Ronald Collins, who rented the trailer where the body was found and was also a caretaker of the owner’s property, was identified as a possible suspect in the case, a news release said.

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said the owners of the property were visiting and noticed a foul smell, so they went inside the trailer and determined it was coming from a futon.

“So obviously that seemed a little unusual that if you’re renting this trailer and you’re the caretaker and you don’t know or don’t report a smell that’s possibly a week to two weeks old,” Staly said of Collins.

Deputies said during the investigation, they determined Collins killed Petrotto at his DeLeon Springs home on about Dec. 13 then wrapped her body in blankets and transported her to the trailer in Bunnell.

Staly said Collins had an on-again, off-again relationship with Petrotto and he was trying to help her get off drugs.

“She relapsed and that upset him. She was supposed to go back out and try to make some money, in his words, to get drugs,” Staly said.

Petrotto’s cause of death was blunt force trauma.

“I would describe it as a jealous fit of rage,” Staly said of the crime.

Collins confessed to Flagler and Volusia deputies on Dec. 26, records show.

“Our detectives and CSI did a great job and worked through the holidays,” Staly said. “Within a few hours, FCSO detectives developed a person of interest and immediately worked with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office jointly to solve this case. This should send a message to criminals that regardless of jurisdictional boundaries, we all work together and we will get you.”

Collins, 51, was arrested on a second-degree murder charge. He’s being held at the Volusia County Jail.

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