In talking to Mrs. Rothwell, she said that a few years ago Kelly had been given an antique diamond ring that had belonged to her great-grandmother, Nancy Rothwell’s mother. The ring was a thin band of gold with an approximately ½ carat diamond inset into the band, with smaller stones on either side of the diamond. Kelly’s sister Lauren said Kelly would wear it on special occasions; it had great sentimental value to her. And its missing.
“That ring was my grandmother’s and was passed down through my family, first to my mother, then me, then ultimately Kelly, as the oldest daughter ,” Nancy Rothwell told me. “Kelly loved it and always took such good care of it, having it cleaned and always having the diamond checked. The gold was wearing very thin on the underside of it because it was so old. I know she loved that ring.”
When Nancy Rothwell came down to Florida the week that Kelly disappeared, she sadly had to collect her daughter’s possessions from the condo that Kelly and David Perry, the only suspect in her disappearance had shared. The very same condo that in all possibility was where Kelly Rothwell was murdered March 12th when she came home to break up with David Perry, who was becoming increasingly paranoid, jealous and out of control emotionally.
When Nancy Rothwell returned home to Maryland, Kelly’s things, boxes of clothes and other possessions sat in the living room; Nancy was just too overwhelmed to go through them. The smells, the little things that were so Kelly were just too much for the family to handle. So they sat for quite a while until finally Nancy and Kelly’s sister Lauren summoned the courage to open some of the boxes up.
“I think I knew that if or when I opened up those boxes, it would prove that Kelly was really gone, taken from us … and she wouldn’t be coming home,” Nancy Rothwell said. “It’s all just still too much to handle.”
With Lauren’ s help, the boxes are slowly being opened up and Kelly’s other sister Lindsay, Lauren’s fraternal twin is finding great comfort in wearing some of Kelly’s things.
“I feel like it brings me closer to her,” Lindsay said. “There are some things that I recognize that Kelly wore when we were growing up; they bring back good memories for me. But I miss her so much… it just hurts ...” she said, her voice trailing off in obvious sadness and pain.
When Nancy Rothwell was finally able to go through Kelly’s jewelry box, she couldn’t find the family heirloom anywhere… the ring was missing. Nancy was very upset; she wanted to at least have it back so she could have a piece of her daughter back. But the ring is nowhere to be found.
Could Kelly have been wearing it the night she ‘disappeared’ and was probably murdered? If so, is the ring still with her, wherever she is? Or did David Perry steal it or worse yet, use it as the engagement ring for his new wife, Melissa Walker, all the while knowing it was Kelly’s, the self –professed “love of his life”, the one he never went searching for when she went “missing”?. Is Melissa the one wearing it now? Does it sit on her left hand, in some twisted, sick way so Perry can maintain his contact with Kelly? It is now widely believed that Perry was seeing or maintaining contact with Melissa Walker well before his claims that he met her AFTER Kelly’s disappearance. Indeed, remember that two weeks PRIOR to Kelly going missing, he has cancelled his gym membership, telling everyone that he was moving to Hawaii. Could it be coincidence that his then secret girlfriend, now wife, is now stationed in Hawaii at Tripler Army Medical Hospital? I hardly doubt it.
Luana, Perry’s ex-wife, whom Perry abused repeatedly during their marriage, said that Perry likes to keep little mementos, likes to keep something of those he has been involved with in his life. For example, he frequently used Luana’s birthday as his own, making himself a year younger than he was. He had used her name as his middle name as well. There is even speculation that he may have married on Luana’s August birthday. His ex-wife said that he does things like that a lot.. It helps to make him feel in control, something Perry’s narcissistic personality constantly demands.
Could Perry have used Kelly’s ring for his new bride’s engagement band? Perhaps with some story, close to the truth, that it was a family heirloom passed down to him as a way to keep Kelly “close?” Did he say it was his mother’s perhaps? The same mother who refused to have him at her own funeral? In his sick and twisted mind, he may feel justified doing so. After all, she was going to leave him; in his mind, NO ONE leaves him, he does the leaving. If Perry kept the ring, it is his excuse to maintain a connection to a woman he supposedly loved and probably fatally harmed.
As this Christmas evening winds down, Kelly Rothwell is not with her family and friends, she is not celebrating the holiday season with loved ones. She is missing and presumed dead. Now her precious family heirloom ring, inherited from her great-grandmother is missing as well.
Someone should check Melissa Walker Perry’s left hand……