UPDATE: Teacher wanted on child porn charges kills self in Nashville


The once-admired Palm Beach Gardens middle school teacher wanted on federal child pornography charges shot and killed himself in a Nashville, Tenn., hotel Friday afternoon after weeks on the run, according to authorities.

Corey Perry, 33, was approached by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents for questioning at the Delux Inn when he shot himself in the head, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department and the FBI. Perry later died at Skyline Medical Center, police said. Police will continue to investigate the “apparent suicide.”

Perry, a teacher at Howell L. Watkins Middle in Palm Beach Gardens, is wanted for producing child pornography that may have included some of his students, the FBI said. On March 24, the school told Perry he was not allowed to return to the school because of the investigation. The same day, FBI agents searched his West Palm Beach home.

Perry was last seen in Fort Lauderdale on March 26. Officials asked parents who thought their children may have been contacted by Perry either through social media or over the phone to come forward.

On Thursday, the teacher’s abandoned rental car was found in Fort Lauderdale with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition. Investigators said they believed Perry had left the area and may have been headed to Nashville, where he grew up.

In addition to the findings, the FBI offered a $25,000 reward for any information that led to his capture.

As of Friday night, it was unclear how investigators located Perry at the hotel in east Nashville, about three miles northeast of the city’s downtown. Neither the FBI nor the Palm Beach County School District would say what triggered the investigation. West Palm Beach police and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office were also involved.

Perry, a graduate of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, was a well-regarded teacher in the county. He was recognized by Florida Gov. Rick Scott for his work in the engineering lab at Watkins and was called “very engaging with the students,” by Beverly Ann Barton, the former principal at of Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in Riviera Beach, where Perry started his teaching career in the county.

“All the students loved him,” she previously told The Palm Beach Post. Perry was nominated this year for a Dwyer award, given to the district’s top teachers.

Perry taught computer science and was a basketball coach at Watkins and other recreational youth leagues in the county. Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said Perry may have met some of his alleged victims through sports.

Avossa said he did not know if any of the alleged victims were Watkins students, but said they may be from other schools. Perry has taught in the district since 2005 and has worked at Watkins since 2010, according to records. He has no record of complaints and earned top ratings at the middle school, according to district records.

Perry’s district computers were searched for any explicit materials, but none were found, according to Avossa.

“As a lifelong educator I am disgusted at what I have learned. He has hurt innocent children,” Avossa said in the days after Perry remained on the run. “He broke a sacred and professional code and I cannot and will not forgive him for that.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 
Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 

Police have accused a Maine man of punching himself several times in the face to avoid a Breathalyzer test, The Bangor Daily News reported. Police suspected Brian Fogg, 27, of Belfast, to be intoxicated when they were called to a residence on Jan. 13 and found Fogg’s vehicle stuck in a ditch, police said. Belfast police said Fogg and...
College student dies after on-campus shooting at Wake Forest
College student dies after on-campus shooting at Wake Forest

A 21-year-old student from Winston-Salem State University was shot and killed early Saturday after a fight broke out during a party at Wake Forest University, police said. The shooting occurred around 1 a.m., WXII reported. It took place on campus during a Delta Sigma Theta sorority party at The Barn, police said. Najee Ali Baker, 21, was...
Pizza shop owner sues when store confused for one where assault occurred
Pizza shop owner sues when store confused for one where assault occurred

A Pennsylvania pizza shop is being targeted, but its owner says it is a case of mistaken identity. Customers upset about a viral video in which a former manager allegedly assaulted a woman have been calling Original Milano's in Oakland -- but the video was taken at Pizza Milano. Ben Sciulli is the owner of the Original Milano's Pizza. He wants to make...
TV film crew arrested for allegedly trying to bring fake explosive to airport
TV film crew arrested for allegedly trying to bring fake explosive to airport

Television film crew members were arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday for allegedly trying to pass a piece of luggage containing “all the makings of an improvised explosive device,” ABC News reported. The film crew members, who claimed to be working the CNBC show “Staten Island Hustle,” were detained...
There’s plenty rhyme, reason in these Deadline Limerick submissions
There’s plenty rhyme, reason in these Deadline Limerick submissions

OK, enough limericks. I need a break. I’m starting to see five-line ditties in my sleep. Several days ago, I used this column and the annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival as an excuse to challenge readers to come up with “deadline limericks” — ones that play off the news. And I wrote that in a future column I would publish some...
More Stories