Authorities in Florida have named David Perry a suspect in the disappearance of his longtime girlfriend, missing police cadet Kelly Rothwell.
"Throughout the investigation, detectives have learned from the family and friends of Rothwell that she would not have gone voluntarily missing. They told detectives the night she went missing was the same night she was ending her volatile relationship with Perry and moving out of their Indian Rocks Beach apartment," the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.
Rothwell, 35, was last seen on March 12 when she left a restaurant in Clearwater, Fla., with her friend Donna Scharett.
"We had lunch together at Chili's restaurant, and, about 3:30 p.m., said goodbye in the parking lot," Scharett told The Huffington Post. "That's the last time anyone heard [from] her."
Scharett called police on March 13 and asked them to check on Rothwell after mutual friends told her she had failed to show up for a planned get-together. When deputies arrived at the condo she shared with Perry, there was no sign of the couple and both their cars were gone. Later that day, deputies found Rothwell's green 2007 Subaru Outback abandoned on a street about two miles south of her home.
Detectives later discovered Perry, a 46-year-old retired corrections officer, had left Florida for New York.
According to police, Perry has "failed to acknowledge detectives' requests for interviews" and is "intentionally withholding information" from them.
"His bizarre behavior and lack of cooperation, coupled with [the fact that] detectives recently learned Perry began a new relationship with another woman shortly after Rothwell disappeared, has detectives now naming him a suspect in her disappearance," the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said. "Detectives will continue their pursuit of the truth about what caused Rothwell's disappearance with or without Perry."
Detectives are asking anyone with information about the couple, and specifically Perry, to contact Detectives Michael Bailey and Amy Plourde at 727-582-6200.