Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Suspect in Indian Rocks Beach police cadet's disappearance arrested in New York on larceny charge

David Perry, the suspect in the disappearance a year ago of Indian Rocks Beach police cadet Kelly Rothwell, was arrested Tuesday in New York on a second-degree grand larceny charge, authorities said.

Officers arrested Perry, Rothwell's former longtime, live-in boyfriend, at his home in Elmira, said New York State Police Sgt. Arthur Cady.

Authorities there said Perry has received more than $300,000 in fraudulent disability checks in the past several years.

"Essentially, the allegations are that he filed a false claim with the New York State disability retirement fund," said Brooks Baker, the district attorney in Steuben County, where the charges were filed.

Perry is a 47-year-old, retired New York corrections officer..

Rothwell, 35, was last seen March 12, 2011. She told a friend at lunch that day that she was going to break up with Perry.

Perry left for Elmira, N.Y., the night Rothwell was reported missing, detectives said. He has repeatedly ignored authorities' requests to interview him.

On Monday, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced a $50,000 reward for information on the whereabouts of Rothwell.

Rothwell's family members, who attended the news conference, said they believe the young woman is dead.

Perry was arraigned Tuesday in New York on the grand larceny charge, which carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison, Baker said.

Perry requested the hearing be continued to next week so he could have a lawyer present. Steuben County Court Judge Joseph Latham then remanded him to jail. The judge set a bail of either $100,000 cash or $200,000 real property, Baker said.

Perry remained in jail Tuesday night.

Pinellas officials said they didn't have any immediate plans to travel to New York, saying Perry has been consistently uncooperative.

New York officials have been building their case against Perry for a while, and in February took the case to a grand jury, which handed up an indictment last week.

"I believe (investigators) had been working on this for just over a year," Baker told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday.

It was unclear Tuesday when Perry retired from his job as a jail deputy and what disability claims he made. He has been receiving the benefit checks since February 2005. In fact, he still may be getting them, Baker said.

Perry also faces similar grand larceny charges in Broome County, N.Y., Baker said.

He said that in that case, Perry is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a workers' compensation insurance fund.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at or (727) 893-8643.

Suspect in Indian Rocks Beach police cadet's disappearance arrested in New York on larceny charge 03/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. A Taste of Tampa Bay: Noble Crust in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    Noble Crust opened on north 4th Street in St. Petersburg, an area light on ambitious restaurants, in 2015. Chef Rob Reinsmith and his team are serving up a blend of southern cuisine and Italian-style cooking, including the restaurant's signature fried chicken. The Noble Crust brand recently expanded beyond its St. …

    Pizza at Noble Crust. [Photo by MONICA HERNDON | TIMES]
  2. HomeTeam 100: Players 11-20


    Armwood wide receiver Warren Thompson is seen during the spring football jamboree at Plant City High School in Plant City, Fla., on Thursday, May 19, 2016.
  3. Rays get relief help, acquire LHP Dan Jennings from White Sox


    The Rays got the relief help they were looking for, acquiring LHP Dan Jennings from the White Sox for prospect 1B Casey Gillaspie.


  4. Bar review: Cheap drinks do fine at the Joint in St. Petersburg

    Bars & Spirits

    The Tyrone area of St. Petersburg is a little light on drinking spots, so the locals must have been happy when a long-running neighborhood spot — formerly Donk's Sports Tavern and Double J's Sports Bar — reopened earlier this year as the Joint.

    Patrons sit at the bar in the Joint in St. Petersburg.
  5. Local Craft Beer of the Week: Fireberry Tea Ale, Sea Dog Brewing Co.

    Bars & Spirits

    Clearwater's Sea Dog Brewing Co. doesn't get enough credit. Most craft beer drinkers familiar with the near-ubiquitous Sea Dog and Shipyard brands, which have been brewed in Maine since the early '90s, erroneously conclude that the Clearwater location is more of the same. But this location, opened in 2013, features its …

    Justin Grant/Special to tbt*