Kelly Rothwell

Kelly Rothwell
Much Loved Sister, Daughter, Friend

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Six years ago, a bright, beautiful. talented and kind woman, Kelly Rothwell was murdered in her Indian Rocks Beach condo by a man she thought she knew. A man she thought she loved and who loved her back. But David Perry's love was the killing kind... and Kelly never stood a chance... or saw it coming.

Kelly Rothwell, by all accounts from friends, family and co-workers, was a funny, intelligent woman who followed many paths during her short 35 years on this earth. She was a passionate animal lover, a Human Resources specialist, an artist, a geologist with a love of crystals and all things spiritual. Her most recent career objective at the time of her murder, was that of Police Officer. Kelly's foray into the world of law enforcement was a departure from her usual interests, yet she excelled in her law enforcement curriculum as she did with ALL of her career choices, because of her innate sense of right and wrong and in this case,  her empathy for the victim. Unfortunately, we will never really know if this sense of justice came from her first hand experience with David Perry's controlling, manipulative and increasingly abhorrent behavior towards her. Or did Kelly  jump into this new career BECAUSE of what David Perry was doing to her at home? Did she fight back the only way she could, by putting him on notice that as a cop, she would be much less of a victim of his vindictive and progressively suppressive behavior?

 But IF Perry HAD planned Kelly's murder, he had the element of surprise on Saturday afternoon March 12, 2011. Kelly was coming home to "talk" but I believe Perry laid in wait for her to get into the front door, attacked her from behind as she went into their bedroom, and strangled her there. I think he then wrapped her up in the inner shower curtain (which was missing), put her body in a sail bag, stuffed her in the trunk of his blue Honda and drove all night, WITH HER BODY IN THE TRUNK, back to Elmira, New York, where he had a home, where he felt safe, where he KNEW that Florida law enforcement would NEVER look or suspect that someone would be so brazen. And where Perry had friends; friends he KNEW would help him dispose of Kelly's body, because he had INFORMATION on those "friends" that could put them both in jail. Perry knew all this and counted on it.

It has always been my firm belief that David Perry planned to kill Kelly Rothwell that Saturday afternoon. He had hacked her phone and her emails and knew she was leaving him; for a new career path that would possibly jeopardize his 'business" interests and for a new person in her life . Kelly was making room for new people and new experiences and Perry was not part of the equation. To a man so Obsessive/Compulsive and with major anger issues including domestic abuse (documented by Elmira law enforcement ) a woman leaving him would have wounded his fragile ego. I also felt that he saw Kelly as a threat; Kelly had told her sister Lindsay that she "caught" Perry at something illegal and that he had "promised" to stop. According to Perry's ex-wife Luanna, during their tumultuous 10 year marriage, Perry had regularly run marijuana and other drugs from Elmira, New York to Florida, picking up contraband to take back to New York. Also according to Perry's ex-wife, he was funded by some well-connected "businessmen", possibly in the restaurant business in Elmira.
Which brings me to this next interesting piece of information....

 In November of last year, Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen  picked up Kelly's story and produced a segment on it; it aired on Election day, November 8th, 2016.  For that story, veteran Crime Watch Daily reporter Andrea Isom and her film crew flew up to Elmira, New York to interview David Perry about Kelly Rothwell's "disappearance". They tracked Perry down; he was seen with a woman in an SUV at a pumpkin patch in late October  2016 when the show was filming Kelly's segment. When they tried to speak with them, he ran away like a little girl.He screamed at the woman to get into the car and threatened Isom and the film crew, before angrily driving away. Perry has a history of running like a coward  from law enforcement and anyone else who wants to ask him about Kelly, so that wasn't out of character for him.

Its now believed that that woman was Darleen Woo, who divorced Simon Woo's brother in 2015. Simon and his brother had owned a very well-known Chinese restaurant in the Elmira/Horseheads area and there has always been talk around town that Perry was somehow involved with some sort  of "business" with the owners. Now Perry is living with Darlene Woo, in a cozy home on Meadowbrook Parkway, (a home Darlene got in the divorce) on a quiet suburban street where people play with their kids in the yard, feet from a suspected murderer. I wonder if they know who he is? Does she realize that she too could be in danger if she crosses him? How could ANY woman sleep next to a suspected murderer, the ONLY suspect in the disappearance and probably murder of Kelly Rothwell? How could she IGNORE all of the strange signs and weird behavior. Maybe the relationship is still in the early lovey- dovey stages, and she just hasn't seen the real Perry yet.

I find it appalling that this man is living the high life, while Kelly Rothwell,the #1 "love of his life "
 ("Yummy wife" #2 Melissa Walker was the 'love of his life' until she divorced him after the pressure on him about Kelly's case became too much for her to deal with). AND he's living with the ex-wife of someone who law enforcement have speculated was possibly involved in a shady business, not related to the restaurant his family then owned.  (It has since been sold.)

Perry has always seemed to find women with property, money or both, that take him in and prop him up. He charms them, buys them pretty things like flowers and clothing, cleans their homes. Eventually, he begins to sequester them, from their friends, their family and their social media. He wants them to depend on HIM, no one else. He becomes increasingly controlling, manipulative, demanding.  Of these women, only Kelly was murdered by him, we think. Could he have done this before? He told his ex-wife Luanna that if she left him, he would put her in a wood-chipper and dump her body parts in the Chemung River. He told Kelly if she ever left him, he would throw her body in the Gulf of Mexico. But what if he DID throw her body in water?

A source has recently come forward that may have information on that very premise. I have always maintained that Perry killed Kelly, put her body in the trunk of his car and drove it up to Elmira , New York the night he killed her. I also suspect that he contacted at least TWO friends, one is Sammy Karam, a retired prison guard who had a house on Seneca Lake. The Karams and Darlene Wu are also good friends as are their kids.. Go figure. Such a tangled web Perry has woven...

The information involves a boat with an inboard and a trolling motor, a very heavy bag containing Kelly's body and three people; two of Perry's friends, one possibly a fisherman who knows the lake very well, another friend and Perry himself, who loaded Kelly's body onto the boat and motored out onto Seneca Lake. Perry may have originally pondered dropping Kelly's body by the dam but felt it wasn't deep enough. He chose the deeper Seneca Lake instead.
The boat used was pushed from the shore right into the water.. and traveled for about 25-30 minutes up towards Watkins Glen State Park, where there is a boat ramp, From there, the source says that Perry and his accomplices traveled an additional 15-20 minutes up the lake from the park's lake entrance. They rolled a very heavy bag (remember I always said that Kelly's geodes, those heavy crystal rocks that she collected were NEVER found) which I believe contained both Kelly's body and the crystals off of the boat which sunk in some of the deepest water of Seneca Lake. One thing that Perry didn't figure that night, was that someone possibly saw him and  may have the coordinates of where Kelly's body is.
This spring, Nancy Rothwell has decided that the lake should be searched, using those coordinates.
A well-known Sonar company has offered to do the search and recovery; more information will be available about that in the coming months...

Nancy Rothwell is determined to find justice for her daughter Kelly. She is encouraged by this new information and  feels David Perry is a dangerous and malignant threat to society.
"I hope that anyone involved with him understands the darkness and depravity that is David Perry.  In fact, I was thinking this morning, why did he have to take  my daughter's life when all he could have done was just leave. If she had something on him, why didn't he just leave and go back to New York,? Kelly would have never pursued anything against him and would probably never even held any ill will against him. That just wasn't her. He totally took advantage of her generous nature and beautiful soul. She had a kind heart and loved life. If you met her once, she touched your life forever. And he took that away.  But what he can't take away is her gentle and peaceful spirit."

So on this day, the sad anniversary of a promising young life snuffed out by a  controlling, manipulative coward, we wait and hope for Spring and the search of Seneca Lake, Maybe the lake will give Kelly up and put David Perry, her killer, behind bars forever. We can only hope so. Meanwhile, I hope that Darlene Woo watches her back... she's living with a suspected murderer. I hope that she cares enough about herself to get away from him like Melissa Walker did.. Kelly tried, but he wouldn't let her go.



  1. This is a very compelling, and disturbing story of yet another woman killed in this country. I'm very sorry for her family and her friends. Women's lives matter. You are a good friend to follow up on this and try to solve her murder.

  2. I did a ln insurance exam on him just days before they announced her missing. In dundee,ny at his parents house. She refused the life insurance exam but I did him. He was scary. She had on a white tee shirt and thick blue sweat pants that said something down the side. He said that house was his parents house.

  3. I knew David Perry when his son played baseball in West Elmira, I can absolutely say that he is capable of everything he is accused of!

  4. Hi Leigh, just listened to you on Unfound. It's so clear that David Perry is a psychopath and has gotten away with murder. Thank you for all your bravery and hard work related to Kelly's case.



David Perry mug shot