Kelly Rothwell

Kelly Rothwell
Much Loved Sister, Daughter, Friend

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Human Skeletal Remains Are More Likely Male

The human skeletal remains found in Athens Township,PA, last Friday, March 8th,  are more than likely that of a male, a source close to law enforcement told me earlier tonight.

What looked like a promising lead or clue to the case of missing St. Petersburg Florida Police Cadet Kelly Rothwell seems to be just another disappointment and frustration in this saga of love, betrayal, and likely murder.

Law enforcement close to the David Perry/ Kelly Rothwell case were momentarily hopeful that at last Kelly Rothwell had been found. David Perry, an Elmira resident and only suspect in her disappearance, lived just 15 minutes from the area where the human remains were found. And more than one person thought that he may have buried her body somewhere close.

"Dave knows that whole area really well and we used to skinny-dip in those natural pools of water left over from the digs,"  said Luana Greenfield, Perry's first wife. "It would not be a surprise to me if they did find Kelly's remains there; he always said he would kill me and throw me in the river. I truly believe that he could do that; no question in my mind."

Perry's second wife, Melissa Walker is stationed in Hawaii at an Army hospital there. Despite her protests that she was divorcing Perry, there has been no confirmation that the divorce actually happened. It seems that she and Perry have maintained a contact during the entire time he has been in jail on  Grand Larceny, Fraud and most recently, Felony Assault charges stemming from a jailhouse altercation with another prisoner, William Hargrave. Hargrave had to be briefly hospitalized with a head laceration. Perry complained that his back was re-injured as a result of the assault.

But the Bradford County Coroner's office is still trying to positively identify the remains, which were originally noted as a small female; it caused such a stir among those of us who have been looking for Kelly and trying to keep her name out, front and center, we all started to hold out some hope.

Meanwhile, another family is holding out hope for some semblance of closure, however sad, that this latest find might help them put a mystery to rest and  help a family begin to heal.

If not the Rothwells,then perhaps someone else will sleep easier tonight, knowing that their loved one will finally be at rest.

So sad that the Rothwells don't have that luxury.. Kelly Rothwell is still missing... after two years of agony her family still waits. Meanwhile the person who knows what happened to Kelly sits in a Broome County jail cell, overconfidant that he will never get caught,

Rest in peace, whoever you are among those remains...

Kelly Rothwell is still out there.. we're waiting to bring you home.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Could This be Kelly Rothwell? Human Remains Found 15 Minutes from Elmira

In a strange and bizarre twist, on a sad day of  the two year anniversary of Kelly Rothwell going missing, what is thought to be female human remains have been found near the Dalrymple Gravel Pits in  Athens Township, a small borough in Pennsylvania, just over the line from New York. Not so coincidentally, this area also happens to be about 15 minutes from David Perry's house in Elmira. Perry is the only suspect in the case of missing Police Cadet Kelly Rothwell from Indian Rocks Beach Florida. He has steadfastly refused to discuss any possible involvement of her disappearance with authorities.

But could this be the break we've all been hoping for? The local gravel pits,which are near where the skeletal  remains were found are located very near the Chemung River, which flows through New York and Pennsylvania. The flooding from Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 flooded the Susquehanna River, which pushed through the Chemung River levee on the other side, damaging it.  The town of Athens sits between the two river's confluence, the Susquehanna and the Chemung, five miles south of the New York line in Bradford County. Athens and the surrounding areas sustained heavy flood water damage.
According to different news  sources, and, the remains were found on Friday March 8th and are now in the hands of the local coroner.

What I find most interesting are two things; David Perry had always threatened his first wife Luanna  with killing her and throwing her body in the Chemung River.AND If  David Perry DID kill Kelly Rothwell, take her body to New York and weighted her down in the Chemung with large rocks, he certainly wasn't counting on Tropical Storm Lee (can that be a coincidence??) to push  both the Susquehanna and the Chemung Rivers past flood stage engorging several of the surrounding small towns under feet of water. The Chemung levy  sustained substantial damage; could a weighted body farther north in the river have broken loose in the violent rush of the flood waters and deposited the skeletal remains near Athens, where the two rivers meet? The direction of the flow seems possible... Perry was seen by locals with his red kayak strapped to a truck in his driveway early one morning shortly after arriving back in Elmira, days after Kelly went missing in Florida and he took off for Elmira,.....Just a thought.

Another thought is that these remains might be the missing wife and presumed dead wife of Calvin Harris, a famous murder case in that area, where he was convicted of murder, even without her body ever being found. Harris'statements of "no body, no proof, no crime" ring eerily in my ears coming very close to several of the Facebook posts on some of the Kelly pages that stated virtually the same thing. Whether these posts on the Kelly pages were Perry's, we'll never know unless police somehow get his computer and study it forensically. But they were really sickening, to say the least.

Now I have always maintained that I think David Perry killed Kelly Rothwell and took her body to New York. Some have said that that isn't "logical".. but nothing in Perry's violent and sordid past has ever made a lot of 'logical" sense. People like him ARE unpredictable.. I can see him driving up from Florida with her body in his trunk. I think he hid her in some sort of canvas sail bag and then put camping equipment over top of her to hide her. Perry has always been a charmer.. if he got stopped for some reason, he would probably use his past CO experience to develop a camaraderie with a cop.. you know, "we're all on the same side" etc. What possible reason would a cop have to look in the trunk of a blue Honda with an ex -CO brother behind the wheel? He probably counted on that scenario. I think he is so overly confident in his abilities, that he wouldn't have thought twice about getting stopped.

So,what if he did dispose of Kelly's body in the river.. remember, her heavy geode rocks were missing... rocks that weighed upwards of 15-20 lbs each. Kelly was a small woman, under 5'4" and a bit over 100 lbs.

If he DID do this to the woman who was his "soul" mate, then I assure you that if those remains ARE Kelly Rothwell, then Perry wasn't quite as smart as he thought he was..
He wasn't counting on a storm named Lee.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Two Years and Little Hope As the Sky Weeps for Kelly Rothwell...

It's been two years today, on March 12, 2011, that St. Petersburg Police Cadet Kelly Rothwell had lunch with a friend, drove home to the condo in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida that she shared with her then- boyfriend, retired Elmira, New York Corrections Officer David Perry, with the intention of finally breaking free of their tumultuous and violent relationship. Kelly had finally found the strength to leave the controlling, obsessive/compulsive and abusive Perry, who had a long and lengthy history of violence towards women. Soft-spoken and slender at just under 5'4",  Kelly had become empowered with her new-found fortitude by way of the  St. Petersburg Police Academy; she  had enrolled, much to everyone's surprise, in the cadet class and became a leader among her peers and a force to be reckoned with. She was a month from graduation and a new life. She never made it...

"She grew out of her shell and became a strong and well-respected leader among the cadets", St. Pete Police Academy ( now retired) Director John Dressback told me in 2011. " She was a friend to everyone who knew her and everybody liked her," he had said with a slight waver in his voice.

Kelly had shown a special interest in the area of  Domestic Violence at the Academy and many felt that her desire to leave David Perry stemmed from the confidence she was starting to feel as she learned more and more about women who overcame serious domestic and physical abuse, often at the hands of the people who purported to "love' them.

But Kelly would never see the day of graduation, never again feel the soft light of the sun on her face, never again see a family that David Perry did his best to isolate her from, a family that loved and missed her.
In an instant, Kelly was missing; David Perry suddenly cleaned up the condo they shared, and then took off suddenly, showing up in Elmira, New York the next day at his home there. He told his daughter Brittney and her husband Kyle who were living in the Elmira home at the time that they were "going to hear a lot about him in the next couple of days and to not believe it". Then he took off again. It was then that I think he left with Kelly's lifeless body still in his trunk, and headed out of town in a hurry. He was traced to several places; he told someone that he was going to "look for Kelly at her favorite spot." He was traced to Oklahoma, where he stayed a few days at a hotel off of the highway, then his trail went dark. He ended up back in Elmira about a week later, refusing to allow New York authorities, working with Pinellas County detectives  to search his car. It was only after two weeks had gone by, March 24th, that Perry finally relinquished the car to New York detectives. They said there was a pervasive smell of disinfectant and bleach. Curiously, there was NO female DNA found at ALL in the car... highly unusual as Kelly and he used to drive together in that blue Honda all the time. The car had been wiped clean by the obsessive /compulsive neat freak, who once yelled at Kelly's sister for putting a water bottle on the counter at their condo.

The Pinellas County investigation into Kelly's disappearance is still on-going, according to the lead detective Mike Bailey, who said that admittedly its hard to go forward with so little evidence
"But," he said, " there have been leads and phone calls that have come in and we have pursued every one of them. And we've  looked at these leads more than once and we're continuing to pursue them."
But Bailey admits that without Perry's or his family's cooperation,it is much more difficult to find the smoking gun; the one piece of evidence that could solve the case and the mystery that is Kelly's disappearance.
I asked Bailey if he thought that Perry would have taken Kelly's body to New York after he allegedly killed her. It has always been my theory that he did. Bailey is not so sure.

"It doesn't seem logical that someone would drive that far with a body in the trunk. Common sense says that a person wouldn't do that, but I guess anything's possible." When I asked Bailey if he thought that Kelly's body could be in New York, he replied, "New York is a big place."

But I think that Perry DID drive Kelly's body after he killed her that Saturday afternoon; he comes from New York and knows the area well. He has hunted the vast woods up there and would know just where to put Kelly were no one would be looking for her. He has counted on the fact that Pinellas County Sheriffs wouldn't have the resources to follow up on possible leads or be able to search such a large area The New York authorities are frustrated as well; some think that she is up there too. But Kelly's disappearance is not their case; they are only pursuing him on the charges of Felony Grand Larceny and Fraud. But some have admitted that there is a real possibility that Kelly's remains lie somewhere upstate.  If this is the case, then David Perry may have committed the perfect crime.. a heinous crime against a beautiful young, vibrant woman who only wanted to make the world a better place, through service and goodness.

Today is especially hard on Kelly's family; it is a milestone anniversary and a sad mystery that seems to have no end in sight for an acceptable conclusion, that of finding Kelly and bringing her home. They are in limbo in the grief process.
Said Kelly's Mother Nancy Rothwell last night, "You have your good moments and your black ones, but we have to go on. Its the not knowing that is so hard to deal with. But Kelly's sister Kristen called me to check on me tonight; and she said something so beautiful; she said that Kelly was a very beautiful person and that she was dearly missed. I'm thinking of her, she said. I thought that was such a beautiful thing to say and Kristen was so right about that. Kelly was a wonderful daughter. I miss her and its tough sometimes..." Nancy's voice trailed off. The family on the whole is doing better; they've come together more as a result of such a tragic loss.

Lauren Rothwell, one of Kelly's two younger twin sisters was sad but also realistic.

She had this to say, " Its not giving up or moving on. We've just moved forward. Kelly was all about moving forward. I believe that this is what she would want. Its not the circumstances surrounding her death, but the circumstances surrounding her life that keep us going. In that way, we honor her every single day.”

Meanwhile David Perry sits in jail in New York. According to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker, one of the two DA's that are prosecuting Perry in two different counties, Perry's defense attorney has refused to respond. He is moving forward with the felony assault charge that Perry incurred when he tried to put  another prisoner, William Hargrave, through a wall last fall. Hargrave sustained enough injuries that he required hospitalization. Baker is currently waiting on Motions for that.

Baker also filed an Appellate brief in response to the Grand Larceny charges that were dropped on Perry last fall. Baker feels confident that the charges will be restored.  " We have moved the court to settle the record as defense counsel refuses to respond.".
 Neither Perry or his attorney John Scanlon has said much of anything. In his last court appearance, Perry repeatedly pleaded the 5th, refusing to answer. Instead he sat with a smirk on his face in the courtroom..

So where are you Kelly Rothwell? How could such a kind soul as you been subject to the evil that is David Perry?
I woke up this morning and the sky was black and rain was falling. It looked so sad and dismal  and I thought, "the sky is weeping for Kelly, weeping for what was, weeping for what could have been."

Hopefully one day you will have justice. I still wear my bracelet with your name on it.. it is a constant reminder that you're not where you're supposed to be... home with your family. You were betrayed by people who said they loved you and you deserved so much better..

So on this two year anniversary, I wish you and your family some modicum of peace. And  I pray that justice will come to you finally. Because you are still missing.... and it's time to come home...



David Perry mug shot