See the update at the bottom of page 2 with Marine Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore's statement on his wife's death and plea to the media.
ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 26, 1:11 P.M.: AMC's The Killing–or, on a tab of acid, ABC's old Twin Peaks–has nothing on the murder mystery swirling around Camp Pendleton. The nude body of Brittany Dawn Killgore, a 22-year-old beauty who a week earlier had filed for a divorce from her Marine husband fighting in Afghanistan, was found in a ravine near a Riverside County lake on April 13. The first suspect arrested in the case is a 300-pound woman who may have tried to kill herself, while the second is a Marine who kept sex slaves and frequented bondage websites.
Brittany and Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore had lived in an apartment in Fallbrook, which is about 25 miles northeast of Lake Skinner, which is near the brush that partly hid the woman's body. She was found on a Friday the 13th, which is all the more chilling when you consider she once had a blog titled 13smyfavoritenumber. Writing on it at age 17, she described herself as depressed but feeling better after taking medication. She also posted that she clashed with her family and wanted to travel the world to find her true love.
In her divorce petition filed a week before her body was found, Killgore cited irreconcilable differences but no further details. She married Cory Killgore in July 2010. He is not a murder suspect, according to authorities.
On April 15, two days after Brittany Killgore's body was found, one of her former Fallbrook apartment neighbors–and the last person known to see her alive–was arrested on a weapons charge. Louis Ray Perez, 45, allegedly stole an AR-15 assault rifle from a man in February. A 16-year veteran of the Marines with no priors before the theft, Perez was already being described as a “person of interest” in Killgore's murder. He was held in lieu of $500,000 bail and, according to authorities, has been “uncooperative” in the murder probe.
Jessica Lynn Lopez was arrested April 17 at a Ramada Inn in San Diego for Killgore's murder. San Diego County sheriff's deputies said the 25-year-old suffered from self-inflicted injuries, and there was reportedly a suicide note next to her explaining what she had done to Killgore.
Lopez was treated at UCSD Medical Center before being booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee. She later pleaded not guilty to murdering Killgore, and the judge set her bail at $3 million.
While still in custody at the Vista Detention Facility Tuesday, Perez was also booked for Killgore's slaying.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Union-Tribune and London Daily Mail have been tripping over themselves with revelations about Perez's kinky side.
On one website, Perez's 36-year-old girlfriend wrote that theirs is a "poly” relationship, meaning they are polyamorous or open to multiple sexual partners.
Another site dedicated to matching kinky couples had Perez referring to himself as "Ivan” as he wrote, "I am lord and master, dom and daddy of my house. My slave, Ms. Dee, is a slave to no one, but myself.” His girlfriend described herself as "an alpha slave to master Ivan.”
Perez has posted several photos of himself and his girlfriend on such sites as the couple openly advertised for another woman to join them, including this one where he pulls her hair:
At the time of her arrest, Lopez had been living with Perez's girlfriend.
Her family and Brittany Killgore's vehemently deny the women were part of Perez's sex ring. But two unknown women out there apparently were, at least according to Perez's girlfriend, who wrote on a BDSM webite, "We have a poly home in which I own two slave girls. Life is good.”
UPDATE, APRIL 30, 9:31 A.M.: Camp Pendleton Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore says the murder of his estranged wife Brittany Dawn Killgore left him "devastated,” that the 22-year-old does not deserve the "salacious gossip and rumor” surrounding her death and that he is going to seek justice for those who took her away from him and something positive from the tragedy so her life will not have been lived in vain. Killgore shares his feelings in a statement released by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
He was allowed to leave his unit in Afghanistan and return to Southern California after his wife first went missing.
His complete statement follows:
Statement by Brittany Killgore's Husband
The Sheriff's Homicide Detail is issuing this statement on behalf of Mr. Cory Killgore regarding the murder of his wife Brittany Killgore. Mr. Killgore will not be granting media interviews. The Sheriff's Homicide Detail and Public Affairs will not be making any further comment regarding this case.
"My wife Brittany, was beautiful beyond words and her murder has left me devastated. My duty to her memory is now to ensure her good reputation remains intact, and help law enforcement and prosecutors secure justice for the person, or persons who took her away from me.
Brittany's death cannot be in vain-at this point, I don't know how to use this tragedy for good, but others have found their way and I hope to do the same. Brittany meant too much to do any less.
As my father-in-law said, please honor my wife's name and don't succumb to salacious gossip and rumor. Brittany was a beautiful, good person, who did not deserve this.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before "graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.