After a career that spanned more than 30 years, one of Central Georgia's top detectives is retiring at the end of July.
Special Agent Gary Rothwell, who is in charge of the G.B.I. office in Perry, worked some of the area's most high profile murder cases and missing persons cases in recent history.
13WMAZ's Lorra Lynch Jones sat down Rothwell to talk about his successes and one particular case he's not ready to call a failure.
As he was getting ready to retire, he said, he found a tape while packing up his office. It was a tape of an old death penalty case in Columbus. He said, "He wound up getting the death penalty but died in prison, naturally."
Rothwell could recall all sorts of details from cases, like names, years, birthdates of victims, but he never really mastered the art of typing, slowly pecking at the keyboard with a single finger.
He said that particular skill never made it to the top of his priority list. "Murder investigations...are what motivates you the most. It's the ultimate crime."
Rothwell started out as a G.B.I. narcotics officer in Athens in 1981. He said he bought dope from college students, while not too much older than the college students himself.
He moved up through the ranks and solved most of his crimes. Those he couldn't solve, he never forgot, like the killing of a teenage Laotian girl in the late 1980's. It took twenty years, but he helped find the girl's killer.
One unsolved case he mentioned was of Tara Grinstead, a missing 31-year-old teacher from Ocilla, missing since 2005.
Even though his retirement is almost here, Rothwell said he's not giving up, especially on Tara Grinstead. He talked of his own private investigation firm still in the works. "I may work for the Grinstead family for real cheap," he added.
Rodney Wall, a special agent from Columbus, will take over Rothwell's position on August 1st.