Monday, March 28, 2011

Intimate Partner Violence Ends with No Answers for the Family of Police Cadet Kelly Rothwell

missing woman, police cadet, kelly rothwell, david perry

Kelly Rothwell had planned to move in with friends in the Palm Harbor area. Friend said that Rothwell had described Perry’s behavior as very controlling and possessive, and that he had been reading her emails.

I had hoped that authorities would have made an arrest by now on the intimate partner homicide of Indian Rocks Beach, Florida police cadet, Kelly Rothwell.

This is what is known: 

  • Kelly Rothewell went to her condo to end the relationship with her abusive and violent boyfriend former New York correctional officer Dave Perry;
  • On March 12th neighbors from the unit below heard thumping and noise from her unit;
  • Dave Perry took off in his car sometime later in the evening;
  • Dave Perry flee's like a coward to Elmira, New York where he is currently in hiding;
  • Dave Perry cooperates in true offender style by providing breadcrumbs of bullshit to law enforcement, via an attorney;
  • Law enforcement in Florida or New York were unable to obtain photo's of scratches, marks and possible bites likely received on Perry from Kelly as she fought, fighting for her life;
  • The son of Dave Perry's attempted to removed a cardboard box from the condo and police took the box;
  • The police in New York obtained a search warrant for Perry's car which I will bet he likely has had the car all ready cleaned.

What went wrong in the case:

  • Kelly Rothwell confronted her dangerous abuser;
  • An unknown person drove Kelly Rothwell's personal car to a street location where police found the vehicle;
  • Kelly Rothwell did not prepare the Evidentiary Abuse document and video as provided in the book Time's Up a tool that must be utilized by first responders and anyone before they announce to anyone the relationship is ending. This would have assured law enforcement an immediate arrest prior to her vanishing;
  • Law enforcement have yet to give the family the contact information to the CUE Center for Missing Persons; (
  • The family has yet to register Kelly's case so a coordinated search an be conducted immediately;
  • A second warrant was obtained by Pinellas County Sheriff's office for another search at the residence;
  • A family member gathered some of Kelly's personal items;
  • In this case as it in far too many of missing persons cases, especially involving a history of intimate partner violence time has passed and the window of opportunity to obtain critical evidence evaporates with each passing day.

Going Forward:

  • Cue Center for Missing Persons's needs to be contacted by law enforcement;
  • The condo should be closed off, no access, until the investigation is finished;
  • Law enforcement should consider bagging into evidence personal items of Perry's such as razor, toothbrush and other items they can later be tested for DNA (because we know he will not be cooperating)
  • Law enforcement should consider obtaining a warrant for Perry's phone and track if possible his activity and the same goes for his son's phone going back to March 12th. (they may have even switched phones that day)

If anyone has any information about this case they are asked to contact the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Robbery / Homicide Unit at 727-582-6200.

I cannot stress enough, if you are in a relationship that has a history of violence, simply mustering up the courage to confront the person and say it is over, without the proper tools, can cost you, your 

One of the major reasons women stay in abusive relationships is fear. They are afraid of what will happen to them and their children if they leave. Sadly, their fears are often justified; FACT a woman is at the greatest risk for injury when she announces her plans or leaves an abusive relationship

The book "Time's Up A Guide on How To Survive and Abusive and Stalking Relationship" is the prescription, if you will, that every person must obtain before they announce they are leaving. Below is an example from Chapter 4, one of many unique tools provided in the book. It is available, or you can purchase via e-book or on a cd. If you have questions, the email address is:

Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit by Susan Murphy Milano from the Book "Time's Up" from Courage Network on Vimeo.
Susan Murphy Milano is with the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is an expert on intimate partner violence and homicide crimes. For more information visit She is also in partnership with Pamela Chapman and iAscend Programs.

Susan is the author of "Time's Up A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships," available for purchase at the Institute, and wherever books are sold. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" on Here Women Talk and is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated The Roth Show with Dr Laurie Roth. Susan is a survivor- the daughter of a police officer family intimate partner homicide by her father who murdered her mother before committing suicide.

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