For about 24 hours, loved ones feared that the body of a woman found near Lake Skinner in Riverside County was that of 22-year-old Brittany Dawn Killgore, the missing wife of a U.S. Marine deployed overseas.
Now coroners have confirmed that it is Killgore -- and a tentative murder investigation becomes a definite one, with two people in custody.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office made the announcement this evening, and another announcement was made as well: Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Ray Perez, one of the two people in custody, has pleaded not guilty to possessing a stolen AR-15 military assault rifle.
Perez, 45, was arrested on that charge while investigators questioned him about Brittany Killgore, after a witness said he came to pick her up at her Fallbrook home for a date last Friday evening -- the last time she was reported seen alive.
A San Diego County murder investigation has moved north to Riverside County, as investigators announced yesterday the discovery of a body there they believe may be that of 22-year-old Brittany Dawn Killgore, the missing wife of a U.S. Marine deployed overseas.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department says Killgore was last reported seen Friday in Fallbrook, the rural San Diego County town where she lives, wearing an evening gown and going out with another Marine who is not her husband -- 45-year-old Louis Ray Perez. Authorities say Killgore and her husband Cory Killgore were estranged at that point, and that Brittany filed for divorce only last week.
What happened Friday night or afterward is not fully known, but Perez, who is stationed at Camp Pendleton, was immediately named a “person of interest” and questioned by investigators. On Sunday he was arrested for allegedly possessing a stolen AR-15 military assault rifle. A sheriff’s spokesman described him as “uncooperative and not completely forthcoming.”