Deputy: Mud, rifle found in murder suspect’s truck

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SAN DIEGO – The third day of the preliminary hearing in the murder of a Marine’s wife revealed what deputies discovered within hours of her going missing.

perez pic copyOn the witness stand Wednesday, Sheriff’s deputies described the 46-year-old defendant Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. Louis Perez as an overly eager witness the night after 22-year-old Brittany Killgore was reported missing. They said his account of where he had been the night before raised red flags.

Killgore had recently filed for divorce and was with Perez the night on April 13.  The next morning, her friend Channy Tall reported Killgore missing.

San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy James Breneman was the first investigator to talk to Tall, then called defendant Louis Ray Perez on his cell phone.

“He sounded distraught, he was very upset,” Breneman said.

“He said ‘she pulled a Brittany,’” Breneman said explaining how Perez described Killgore that night. “’She was flighty and not serious.’”

Perez offered to come over to Killgore’s apartment and told the deputy that he left Killgore outside a downtown San Diego club with two unknown men, Breneman said during his testimony.

“And that is when his demeanor changed. He appeared angry his jaw clenched,” said Breneman.

After Perez gave his statement, the two men walked to Perez’s Ford Explorer. According to Deputy Breneman, it had rained the night before and Perez told him he drove to his Fallbrook home he shared with the other two defendants from downtown at 11 p.m.

Heavy wet mud was dripping from the truck and what appeared to be an assault rifle inside the truck caused the deputy alarm, he said.

“I believe that vehicle contained evidence, due to mud that appeared fresh on his truck at that time,” Breneman said. “It rained that night in San Diego County and in the morning.  That much mud would have been washed off – it did not coincide with statements Perez made about where he spent the night.”

Killgore’s mutilated, naked body was found four days after she was reported missing near a ditch at Lake Skinner in Riverside County.

Perez, 37-year-old Dorothy Maraglino and Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, were charged with first degree murder, conspiracy and torture.

In graphic testimony on Tuesday, witnesses revealed a BDSM lifestyle the three defendants engaged inside their Fallbrook home which including ritualistic sexual acts and torture.

According to witness testimony, Killgore knew about the defendants’ deviant lifestyle but was not a participant.

Killgore’s cell phone was found downtown, but court testimony revealed her phone was in Fallbrook at the time she allegedly sent text messages to her friend Tall that read “help.”

The preliminary is expected to last until Friday.