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Medical Examiner: Killgore Was Strangled with Ligature

The preliminary hearing will resume Friday.

A military wife from Fallbrook who was found dead near Lake Skinner in southwest Riverside County—authorities said she was killed after she was kidnapped and forced to participate in a bondage and sadomasochistic sex ring—was strangled before her naked body was dumped, a deputy medical examiner testified Thursday.

Dr. Craig Nelson testified in a preliminary hearing for Louis Ray Perez, 46, Dorothy Maraglino, 37, and 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Lopez that the 22-year-old victim, Brittany Killgore, died after being strangled with some sort of ligature.

Killgore, who had filed for divorce from her Marine husband and was preparing to move back to Pennsylvania, also had a deep cut from a saw below her left knee, suggesting attempted dismemberment after she died, Nelson testified.

Nelson couldn't say whether the victim was tortured.

Perez, a Camp Pendleton Marine sergeant, his girlfriend Maraglino and Lopez are charged with murder, conspiracy, kidnapping and torture.

Killgore's body was found near Lake Skinner last April 17, four days after she agreed to go on a dinner cruise with Perez.

A friend testified that Killgore texted the word "help" shortly after leaving with Perez. Perez told the friend in a subsequent phone call that he dropped Killgore at a bar and saw her go off with "two guys," according to the friend's testimony.

Perez allegedly took Killgore to his Fallbrook home -- where authorities said they found ropes, whips, a Taser, a nightstick, spiked gloves and a "sex dungeon" -- before texting Lopez and Maraglino to join him.

At some point, Perez decided to kill Killgore, authorities allege.

All three defendants were involved in sexual behavior that included bondage, torture and master, servant and slave role-playing, and Killgore was an "unwilling participant" in those activities, sheriff's detective Susan Fiske alleged in search warrant affidavits.

The preliminary hearing will resume Friday. When it is over, Judge K. Michael Kirkman will determine whether  enough evidence was presented for the defendants to stand trial.

—City News Service

TVOR March 16, 2013 at 10:41 AM
If these people are guilty, they need to suffer for their crimes.
Jennifer McCaughey March 16, 2013 at 05:57 PM
There is a special place in hell for these people...this is what the death penalty is for. Only a monster would do this to another human being and the women? There are no words to describe the depravity of this crime. I hope the DA prosecutes these miserable pieces of human garbage to the fullest extent of the law, there is no way people like this can be rehabilitated.
Jennifer McCaughey March 16, 2013 at 05:57 PM
There is a special place in hell for these people...this is what the death penalty is for. Only a monster would do this to another human being and the women? There are no words to describe the depravity of this crime. I hope the DA prosecutes these miserable pieces of human garbage to the fullest extent of the law, there is no way people like this can be rehabilitated.

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