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Sergeant investigated in killing of Marine’s wife arraigned on other charges

April 18, 2012 |  3:56 pm

 

A Marine staff sergeant considered a "person of interest" in the disappearance and possible killing of a Marine’s wife was arraigned Wednesday on felony charges of receiving stolen property and possession of an assault weapon.

Louis Ray Perez, 45, pleaded not guilty in the Vista branch of San Diego County Superior Court. Bail was set at $500,000.

Perez was arrested Sunday when, while he was being interviewed about the disappearance of 22-year-old Brittany Dawn Killgore, sheriff's deputies spotted an assault rifle that had been reported stolen. He was uncooperative when asked about Killgore, officials said.

"The case remains under review for potential additional charges,'' according to a spokesman for Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis.

Meanwhile, arraignment for Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, on a charge of killing Killgore is set for Thursday. She was arrested Tuesday at a San Diego motel; she had attempted to kill herself and left a suicide note.

Perez is thought to be the last person seen with Killgore, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. For two days, search and rescue team members scoured a canyon north of Fallbrook, where Killgore lived.

A body was found Tuesday in the Lake Skinner area of Riverside County. The San Diego County medical examiner has not revealed whether that body has been identified.

The relationship, if any, between Lopez and Perez, and between Perez and Brittany Killgore has not been revealed by detectives working the case. But relatives of Brittany Killgore told a newspaper in Farmington, Mo., that she had been set to attend a dinner cruise in San Diego Bay with Perez and others on Friday night.

Killgore's husband, Cory, is a Marine deployed to Afghanistan. He is returning to San Diego on emergency leave arranged by the Red Cross. His wife filed for divorce last week.

Perez and Cory Killgore were stationed at Camp Pendleton.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

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