There has been much speculation as to why David Perry would kill his then- girlfriend Kelly Rothwell on March 12, 2011, after she came to break up with him that Saturday afternoon. Some have floated that he was jealous and possessive, controlling and violent. By all accounts and police reports in his past, he was all that and more.
But by the time Kelly Rothwell came home that late afternoon, David Perry had already met Melissa Walker, a National Guardsman Reservist in Las Vegas, online on Craig's List, had already visited out west where she lived, WHILE he was still supposedly with Kelly and was already planning a life with Melissa.Although Melissa Walker insists that she met Perry AFTER Kelly went missing, there is no evidence either way. Perry had told the gym where he worked out that he was moving to Hawaii; this was two weeks BEFORE Kelly went "missing". Coincidentally, (or not) Melissa Walker was scheduled to be stationed at Tripler Army Medical Center, IN HAWAII, shortly after Perry gave the gym notice, stating that "we" were moving to Hawaii.
Why then, were there tickets to Utah in Kelly and Perry's name for a job interview for Kelly in Human Resources at a posh resort?Why were there emails supposedly from Kelly to the Director of the resort, asking about onsite health club benefits, housing and health care for both her AND her "fiance"? Were they engaged? If so, Kelly never mentioned it. Could Perry have been setting something up?
Meanwhile, Kelly had still been applying at several local police departments in anticipation of graduating from the St. Petersburg Police Academy in April,2011. One has to wonder if it might have been David Perry all along who was sending out Kelly's resumes to various resorts around the country, including out west, where Melissa Walker, his Craig's List love interest was living. He was known to have hacked her computer and email accounts and tried to maintain as much control over her as possible.
It appears that there were two totally disparate directions that Kelly appeared to be moving in. At the exact time, according to her personal emails, she was sending resumes to both resorts AND police departments. This seems to make little sense unless she herself was hedging her bets for employment. But what if she wasn't? By all accounts from the cadets that Kelly was in class with, she was passionate about her police work and was looking to become more involved in the domestic violence aspect of law enforcement. Was this because she herself was being abused at home by Perry?
One plausible explanation could be that Perry was attempting to steer Kelly away from her law enforcement career because she knew too much about his dealings. According to Perry's ex-wife Luana Greenfield, Perry, who was a Corrections Officer at the Elmira prison at the time, was caught growing pot in his basement when the police were called out to a domestic violence dispute at their Elmira home.Sources within the Elmira police department confirm this. Yet the case never went to trial; the charges suddenly went away. Luana also stated that Perry smoked pot almost every day and had been friends who were known drug dealers. One particular person, Jeff Lavelle, a former Corrections officer at Elmira, was caught with a felony amount of cocaine in his car after he flipped it on a back road outside of town. He and Perry were friends. There was even a source who said that Perry was actually in the car at the time with another corrections officer and that both took off so as not to get caught.
Fairly early in their relationship,Kelly had intimated to her family that Perry was involved in "something big" and that she told him she would leave him if he didn't stop. She told her sister that he "promised" that he would. But according to a family member,he didn't and Kelly was very upset about it. Given Perry's alleged history with drugs and Kelly's enrollment in the police academy, could he have been trying to steer her away from law enforcement to protect his business dealings?
There has also been speculation that Perry saw Kelly as a perfect "mark"; she had a rented condo in Florida and Florida was full of sun and fun for Perry, who fancied himself "Mr. Beach". A fanatic for fitness, Perry trained all the time; running, riding his bike and lifting weights at the gym. All this while being "disabled."
Could he have sensed that day he met her at Sweet Tomatoes that she could be the perfect "home" base, complete with beach condo, pretty girl. sun and fun? The only glitch being that Kelly, originally in Human Resources when Perry and she first met, had decided to take a different path in her life, instead going into Law Enforcement, with emphasis on Domestic Violence issues. Could that have sent Perry scrambling to cover his tracks? Could that have led him to kill her and take her body to New York, where he had numerous places to hide her, including the compost heap at the Elmira Jail, several hundred acres of wooded land that he used to hunt on and the Chemung River. What about Seneca Lake? Perry has a good friend whose owns a house on the lake and has a boat there as well.. Seneca Lake is 603 feet deep; so deep that the sheriffs who patrol it have sonar on their rescue boats. According to one source, Perry contacted that friend right after he got into town on the 13th. The large, heavy geodes that Kelly collected were never found.. could they have been used to weigh down, lets say, a sail kite bag, with Kelly's body in it?
We'll never know, because at that time Kelly Rothwell had been "missing" for 17 months and Perry, who was in prison at the time, on Fraud relates charges, wasn't talking.
Since then Perry is out of jail, still living in New York and 5 YEARS later Kelly Rothwell is still missing.
She and her family deserve justice; David Perry deserves life in prison.