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Body found in Riverside County may be missing wife of Marine

Authorities arrest a 27-year-old woman in connection with the disappearance of Brittany Killgore. The body was found near Lake Skinner.

April 18, 2012|By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
  • Brittany Dawn Killgore, shown in a photo provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, was last seen Friday, possibly heading to the Gaslamp District in San Diego.
Brittany Dawn Killgore, shown in a photo provided by the San Diego County… (Associated Press )

SAN DIEGO -- A body, possibly of a Marine wife missing since Friday, has been found in rural Riverside County near Lake Skinner, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday.

Authorities also have arrested a 27-year-old woman on suspicion of homicide in connection with the disappearance of 22-year-old Brittany Dawn Killgore, Sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser said.

The suspect, Jessica Lynn Lopez, was found Tuesday morning in a San Diego motel after an apparent suicide attempt and was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center, Fraser said. Information leading to the discovery of the body was developed after Lopez was arrested, Fraser said.

Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Ray Perez, 45, who was arrested Sunday on a weapons charge, remains under investigation in the disappearance, Fraser said.

Killgore, married to a Marine deployed to Afghanistan, was last seen Friday, possibly heading to the Gaslamp District in San Diego. Her husband, Cory, was granted emergency leave because of his wife's disappearance and was on his way home from Afghanistan. Brittany Killgore filed for divorce last week, according to court documents.

At a brief news conference, Fraser said he could offer only limited details and would not reveal anything about the relationship, if any, between Perez and Lopez, or about any potential ties to Brittany Killgore. But detectives have said Perez was the last person seen with Killgore.

Perez, part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, is stationed at Camp Pendleton.

The Sheriff's Department search-and-rescue team scoured the rugged canyon area north of Fallbrook on Sunday and Monday. Killgore lived in an apartment in Fallbrook.

Brittany Killgore's cellphone was found in the Gaslamp District, a San Diego shopping and entertainment district.

Perez was set to be arraigned Wednesday and was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. No arraignment has been set for Lopez.

tony.perry@latimes.com

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