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Crime & Courts

Suspect in Pinellas woman's disappearance freed in New York case

TBO.com staff
Published:   |   Updated: August 28, 2013 at 01:51 PM

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A suspect in the disappearance of a Pinellas County police cadet two years ago has been released from an upstate New York jail after a jury couldn't reach a verdict in his trial on unrelated charges.

David Perry, 49, was released after a mistrial was declared Friday in Binghamton, N.Y. A jury said it couldn't reach a verdict on the grand larceny and insurance fraud charges filed against him in March.

Authorities had charged Perry, a former New York corrections officer with faking an injury to steal from that state's retirement disability system.

Perry is a suspect in the disappearance of his former live-in girlfriend, Kelly Rothwell, of Indian Rocks Beach, authorities said. He has not been charged in that case.

Rothwell was last seen in March 2011 in Clearwater by a friend, who told authorities Rothwell had planned to break up with Perry.

Perry left Florida the next day for Elmira, N.Y., where he had lived previously.

Rothwell, then 35, was a police academy recruit at St. Petersburg College.

Pinellas County detectives have requested Perry's cooperation in her disappearance but has not given it, the sheriff's office said. Perry's family members in Elmira have also been uncooperative, investigators said.

In addition to Perry's behavior and his refusal to cooperate, sheriff's investigators find it suspicious that Perry began a relationship with another woman shortly after Rothwell disappeared.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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