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Missing Cadet Case: Suspect's home searched | News

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Missing Cadet Case: Suspect's home searched

Elmira, New York -- Police have searched the upstate New York home of David Perry, prime suspect in the case of missing police cadet Kelly Rothwell.

Perry was Kelly Rothwell's boyfriend and detectives in Pinellas County say he is their prime suspect in her disappearance.

David Perry has been placed under arrest in New York on unrelated charges. And as Perry sits in jail, a state police car sits in front of his house in western Elmira.

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That state police officer's colleagues were busy inside the house Monday. Armed with a search warrant, investigators spent more than three hours at the house.

They left carrying four bags of evidence. They were filled mostly with paperwork; one envelope was marked "Receipts 2011."

None of this is directly related to the disappearance of Kelly Rothwell.

She's the Indian Rocks Beach police cadet who vanished last year after telling her best friend she was going to break up with Perry, her boyfriend.

Perry is locked up on charges he stole from the State of New York by getting disability payments he didn't qualify for.

Investigators said the search focused purely on those charges.

During the search, a police dog and K-9 officer were behind the house. The police spokesman would not say why the dog was used.

Police entered Perry's detached garage, got into his Honda Civic, and backed it up onto his gravel driveway for further searching.

Police could be heard hammering or pounding something inside the garage. The police had no comment about the sound.

What if officers searching for financial information stumble onto some evidence relating to Kelly Rothwell's disappearance?

That wouldn't necessarily be all good news. Officers would likely have to go get a new warrant to seize that evidence.

And if a judge rules that the new evidence was found in a way that's illegal or unfair, he or she can ban that evidence from being used against Perry in court.

Police say they may be back at Perry's home Tuesday.

He's currently being held in a county jail in New York. If he pays his $25,000 bail amount, a veteran reporter in the area says he'd likely be transferred immediately to a jail in a different county where his bail has been already revoked.


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