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Marine whose wife was killed wants to 'use this tragedy for good'

April 26, 2012 |  5:44 pm

The husband of the slain Brittany Dawn Killgore said in a statement Thursday that he is searching for a way "to use this tragedy for good."

"Brittany's death cannot be in vain," Marine Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore said in a statement released by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. "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."

Killgore was deployed in Afghanistan when his 22-year-old wife went missing April 13. Her body was found dumped near Lake Skinner in Riverside County on April 17. He is now home on emergency leave arranged by the Red Cross and the Marine Corps.

Two people have been charged with Brittany Killgore's death: Staff Sgt. Louis Perez, 45, and Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25. Each has pleaded not guilty, and both are being kept in jail on $3 million bail.

In court Thursday, the prosecutor in the case said deputies found Killgore's blood in Perez's car, along with a weapon that authorities believe was used to kill Killgore. Also in court, Perez's attorney said that in a would-be suicide note, Lopez admitted to killing Killgore and exonerated Perez.

The cause of death has not been revealed by the medical examiner. Nor have prosecutors revealed a possible motive.

In his statement, Cory Killgore said that his wife "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."

He also pleaded with the media not to "succumb to salacious gossip and rumor. Brittany was a beautiful, good person who did not deserve this."

Perez and Cory Killgore were stationed at Camp Pendleton.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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