Dorothy Larry was slain in Las Vegas just few weeks before she was to serve as the maid of honor in her daughter’s wedding.
Her daughter, Nanette Smith, told the Review-Journal that she’s struggling to cope with the situation. And she wants to set the record straight about her mother’s relationship with the man police arrested in connection with the homicide.
“It just kills me,” she said Wednesday. “At this point I feel like I need to save my mother’s reputation and speak the truth.”
Las Vegas police have said Larry, 69, died during a domestic violence incident and that she was in a dating relationship with Wesley Perry.
Perry, 60, was arrested in San Bernardino, Calif., shortly after police found Larry’s body while conducting a welfare check Saturday morning at Rancho Verde Apartments, 98 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., near Bonanza Road. He is to be extradited to Nevada, but had not been booked at the Clark County Detention Center as of Thursday morning.
Smith said her mother, who also worked as a school crossing guard, did not live at that apartment, nor was she dating that man.
“They really got it wrong,” she said. “How come they didn’t do their homework?”
Las Vegas police said they did a thorough investigation, which is ongoing.
“The information we put out is based on facts,” Metro spokesman officer Jesse Roybal said Wednesday night.
Smith said she has heard little from Metro — that the detective doesn’t want to talk to her.
She didn’t even learn the extent of her mother’s wounds until she was at the funeral home trying to get her mother dressed for a viewing. She wanted Larry to be viewed in her short-sleeved bridesmaid’s dress, but staffers told her it wouldn’t work.
The Clark County coroner’s office said Larry died from multiple stab wounds to the chest. Smith said she discovered that her mother would have to be fully covered, because she had defensive stab wounds all over her body from three different weapons.
“She was fighting for her life,” Smith said. “It was not domestic violence. She didn’t just go and get in an argument.”
Larry and Perry knew each other, Smith said. Larry was a friendly woman, and she would go dancing with Perry occasionally — she loved to dance. But that’s where the relationship ended for her. Smith told the Review-Journal that Perry was stalking her mother.
“She wasn’t in a dating relationship with that man,” she said. “He had some kind of unnatural obsession. He would call, call, call … She would get out of a dance class and find a message on her phone saying ‘I’m watching you.'”
Her mother worked at a phone company for 39 years, enabling her to retire comfortably, Smith said. Larry liked to travel and go on cruises, and would often head to Laughlin, where she would line dance.
“She had me when she was 17, and she and I have literally been together every day,” Smith said. “She moved in with me when I had kids, and she stayed even after I got married.”
Visitation for Larry will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, and the service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday. Both will be held at Greater Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church, 1915 Lexington St.
Contact Wesley Juhl at firstname.lastname@example.org and 702-383-0391. Find him on Twitter: @WesJuhl.