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Boyfriend of missing police cadet accused of fraud in N.Y.

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 01:57 PM

The boyfriend of a missing Pinellas County police cadet has been arrested in New York on fraud charges unrelated to the disappearance.

David Perry, 47, was arrested on charges of grand larceny charges and two counts of insurance fraud related to receiving workers' compensation benefits illegally, said Mark O'Donnell, a spokesman with the New York State Police.

Perry is the live-in boyfriend of Kelly Rothwell, a 35-year-old Indian Rocks Beach resident, who has been missing since March 13.

"It doesn't have anything to do with us," Pinellas County sheriff's Sgt. Tom Nestor said this morning. "It's not part of our investigation."

Perry's charges stem from 2003, when he was a state prison guard at the Elmira Correctional Facility in New York. O'Donnell said that Perry said he was injured on the job and fraudulently put in for a workers' compensation disability retirement claim.

The warrants were issued out of Union Town Court in Broome County. He was arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate 86 in Amity, a small town in Allegany County.

He was being held in the Broome County Jail with no bail set, O'Donnell said. It was not unusual for a defendant charged with multiple felonies to be held without bail, he said.

Stargazette.com reported that Perry was arrested by New York State Police shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, about 35 miles west of Binghamton.

Rothwell, a cadet at the St. Petersburg College police academy, told a close friend over lunch March 12 that she was going to break up with Perry. She was reported missing the next day.

Perry was located by authorities in New York shortly after Rothwell was reported missing. He has refused to answer detectives' questions about Rothwell and has also refused to take a DNA test.

Nestor said there are no immediate plans to send missing persons detectives to New York to talk to Perry.

"We still want to talk to him, though he's refused to talk to us all along," Nestor said.

Rothwell enrolled in the police academy in November. She had not missed a day until she was reported missing.

Anyone with information about Rothwell's disappearance is asked to call the sheriff's office at (727) 582-6200. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477 or go to www.crimestoppersofpinellas.org.

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