They say that seven is the Lord's number.. that it represents all that is good, divine perfection, conclusion, completeness. But for Kelly Rothwell and her family, there is no completeness, there is no conclusion. For seven years, Kelly's family has been waiting for justice for Kelly's murder at the hand of David Perry.
On March 12, 2011 Kelly Rothwell went home after a lunch with a friend to break up with her boyfriend David Perry. Downstairs neighbor Ken Williamson recalls her coming home and then shortly thereafter hearing a series of loud thumps through their ceiling, seeming to come from Kelly's master bedroom floor. There was no yelling or raised voices to indicate an argument. Within minutes Williamson heard vacuuming that lasted quite a while.... then silence.
It was silent because Kelly Rothwell was dead.
And David Perry had killed her.
Earlier that weekend, Friday night, Perry had stalked Kelly, following her to the friend's house where she was staying for the weekend, sitting in his car with a black t-shirt covering the front window of his blue Honda. He texted Kelly numerous times, blowing up her phone, with protestations of love one minute, hateful haranguing the next while sitting in the parking lot of her friend's apartment complex. Kelly looked out and saw Perry's Honda and walked down to confront him. She told him to go home, that they would talk, that she was done with him, that she was tired of his controlling, violent personality. He seemed contrite and left.
A little while later, when Kelly and her friend went to the store to get some wine to take to a party they had been invited to by some of the cadets that Kelly was in school with, they saw that Perry in the store parking lot; he had followed them. Instead of going to the party, they opted to stay in, avoiding a confrontation with Perry.
David Perry is a control freak; he has OCD so badly that he couldn't even stand it when someone put a water bottle on the counter of his kitchen... So Perry had most of the weekend to stew on his humiliation that Kelly was breaking up with him even while he was romancing another woman, Melissa Walker online, making plans with her to move to Hawaii. Why he didn't just let Kelly go, when he was already onto the next conquest, is the big question that plagues Kelly's friends and family. Nancy Rothwell, Kelly's mother has a theory that seems to make sense.
"I think he had to have known that Kelly knew something about his life that he didn't want her to know, " she said.
Today is a sad day for Nancy, as it has been for every year that Kelly has been gone.
"It's sad,"she said to me this afternoon. "I keep going back in my head, I just keep thinking about how her day went and that she never knew what was in store for her when she walked into the condo that day."
But Life is still going one for the Rothwell family; Kelly's sister Lauren is expecting a baby boy next month and is happily preparing for that. Another sister, Kristen, is enrolled in college to earn a degree in Counseling. Nancy stays busy taking care of her grand-babies and is eager to meet the latest one next month.
Kelly's memory will live on with those that were fortunate enough to have known and loved her," Nancy said. "But she will always be painfully missed."
Meanwhile, Kelly Rothwell has been "missing" for seven years today. Where is her justice? David Perry will slip up one day... even if he continues to deny it, EVERYONE knows he did it.
Seven may be the Lord's number, but it has only brought heartache and pain to the Rothwell family .
Seven years is too long to wait for Justice....