Friday, May 6, 2011
David Perry Arrested in Allegany County on Fraud, Grand Larceny Charges
David Perry,46, the man wanted for questioning in the disappearance of missing Florida police cadet Kelly Rothwell, was arrested by New York State Police Thursday night in Allegheny County on a warrant issued from the New York State Police in Broome County, Binghamton, New York. Perry, who was stopped in a traffic stop on the warrant, has been charged with Felony Grand Larceny and Fraud.
Perry was arraigned in front of a judge at 2 a.m. Friday morning and is being held without bail in the Broome County Jail at this time, according to a Sgt. on duty at the jail. The case will go to a Grand Jury for indictment on felony charges, which can result in federal jail time. Perry is being investigated for filing a fraudulent injury report when he worked as a corrections officer at the Elmira Correctional Maximum Security Prison in Elmira , New York. He reportedly ran toward a fight among inmates, then claimed to have injured his back in the ensuing fight. Perry carried two long-term disability insurance policies from two separate insurance companies and received a disability pension from the State of New York. He also filed a successful claim with Social Security Disability.
What Perry was doing in Allegheny County is anyone's guess although Perry was spotted last week on Rt 17, which runs across Chemung and Steuben Counties into Allegheny County. The area is known for it's great trout fishing and boating on Red House Lake, a man-made lake located in the Allegheny State Park.
News of Perry's arrest hit the local Elmira New York news station YNN and the local paper The Star Gazzette, then quickly spread on Facebook to the several sites devoted to Kelly Rothwell's disappearance. While Perry has not been charged in Kelly's disappearance, her family and friends feel very sure that Perry had something to do with it.
"I think he killed my friend," said Kelly's best friend Donna Scharrett. "I think he put her somewhere and we just want to bring her home."
"We are just ecstatic," Kelly's mother Nancy Rothwell said by phone early Friday morning.
"We're glad that at least he's been arrested .. now hopefully we'll get some answers. Sooner or later, when you do wrong, it WILL catch up with you," Nancy Rothwell said.
Lauren Rothwell, Kelly's younger sister was hopeful that Perry's arrest would make him more cooperative with police about her sister's disappearance.
"I hope if he sits in jail, he''ll decide that he wants to help us find my sister," she said by phone.
Perry has so far maintained his verbal silence, although there have been many posts on the various Kelly Rothwell pages that have been taunting and vile about Kelly and ridicule law enforcement. These posts appear to come from fake profiles that adopt a hit and run style of abuse and are almost impossible to trace. But the sheer volume and the tone suggest that David Perry may be responsible for most of them.
Monica Caison director of the CUE Center for Missing Persons, a search and rescue organization from Wilmington, NC arrived in town with cadaver dogs Wednesday night. She spent most of Thursday morning with the Pinellas County Sheriff Office's detectives Mike Bailey and Amy Plourde, being briefed about Kelly's disappearance and subsequent ongoing investigation. Caison spent the afternoon checking out GPS coordinates and mapping out a search area. The rest of her search team and dogs are due to arrive Friday afternoon and a full-out search will begin Saturday morning, based on her GPS mapping and a famous "gut feeling" that has made her so successful in finding missing persons in the past. She plans on searching the parks and Nature preserves in and around the area where Kelly lived with Perry in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida.