Apr 26, 2011
St. Petersburg, Florida – Her story has captured the attention of the nation.
Missing police cadet Kelly Rothwell is the subject of a massive search across the country. The 35-year-old disappeared without a trace on March 12th. She was last seen at a Clearwater Chili’s having lunch with her best friend. Kelly was on her way to the Indian Rocks Beach condo that she shared with her boyfriend, David Perry, to break up with him.
No one has seen her since then.
Detective Michael Bailey tells 10 News, “She could be anywhere in the United States, obviously, between Florida and New York. That’s an area David Perry is familiar with. Probably not a bad idea to check it out.”
Kelly’s ex-boyfriend, David Perry, is a retired corrections officer who detectives say fled to New York right after she went missing. He hasn’t helped in the search, detectives say. In addition, he has not provided any DNA samples that they requested.
He won’t even do an interview or provide them with a timeline as to Kelly’s last whereabouts.
Kelly’s story has gained so much attention that the National group Cue Center for Missing Persons, out of North Carolina, is getting involved. They are bringing search teams and dogs to find her.
Group Founder Monica Caison says, “I was born and raised in the area and am familiar with the area. I can’t wait to start looking at some areas.”
Caison loves her career with the group that’s been around for 17 years. It is her passion. She says the key to cracking this case is to keep Kelly’s story in the spotlight, and one way to do that is a website.
The website will be up and running by the end of the week. It’s called “Help find Kelly Rothwell.”
Caison says, “It gives us a place where people can send messages to the Rothwell family, as well as tips or leads.”
This weekend, a vigil is being organized for Kelly, not in Florida, but in Elmira, New York, her ex-boyfriend’s hometown. Kelly’s friends and family are hoping that the vigil brings more attention to her case and could encourage Perry to talk.
Detective Bailey says, “Elmira is a small town. I’m certain because of coverage, everyone is aware of the case, so it’s important for them to see that a lead may come from that.”
It could be that lead that allows detectives to find Kelly Rothwell in Pinellas County.
Detectives have also confirmed to 10 News that they are putting together billboards next month with Kelly’s information. It could help jog someone’s memory. They are also continuing to speak with Kelly’s classmates at the police academy, where she was at the top of her class.
If you know where Kelly is or have any information on her disappearance, there’s a reward of up to $1,000 waiting for you.
You can remain anonymous.