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Search warrants released in death of Marine’s wife

July 18, 2012 |  5:02 pm

At the request of news organizations, an appeals court Wednesday ordered the release of four search warrants in the case of a Marine and two women accused of murder in the strangulation death of the 22-year-old wife of a Marine at Camp Pendleton.

The search warrants, and accompanying affidavits, provide additional information about the relationship between the  defendants: Staff Sgt. Louis Perez, 45; Jessica Lopez, 25; and Dorothy Maraglino, 36.

All three are charged with murder in the death of Brittany Dawn Killgore.

Perez, Lopez and Maraglino were engaged in a sexual lifestyle that included bondage, masks, whips, spanking, cutting, a "sex dungeon," unspecified "sex apparatus," and role-playing of slave, servant and master, according to one document.

The documents do not indicate how Killgore knew the three defendants except that all lived in Fallbrook and Perez, like Killgore's husband, was stationed at Camp Pendleton.

On April 13, Killgore, after initially declining the invitation, agreed to accompany Perez to San Diego for a dinner cruise, according to the documents.

Within 13 minutes of Perez picking her up at her residence, Killgore knew she was in trouble, the documents indicate. She texted a friend, "Help." The friend, unable to get a response from Killgore, texted back, "Brittany, Are u OK? I am freaking out here."

Perez sent back phony text-messages pretending to be Killgore and indicating nothing was amiss, according to the search warrants.

All three defendants were at the house in Fallbrook where investigators believe Killgore was killed, according to an affidavit filed by a San Diego County Sheriff's Department detective. Her body was found days later near Lake Skinner in Riverside County.

"Because of Perez and Maragalino's unusual sex fetishes, I believe they may have accosted Killgore for these reasons," one detective wrote in a sworn affidavit.

Perez was the first of the three to be arrested. Detectives found a stun gun, bloody gloves and fibers of hair in his truck, according to a document. The blood matched Killgore's.

Perez told detectives that he had taken Killgore to the Whiskey Girl Club in the Gaslamp District in San Diego but the two had become separated, according to a detective. But investigators believe Perez and Killgore were never in San Diego and instead never left Fallbrook.

Lopez was arrested at a San Diego motel where she had attempted suicide. In a profanity-laced seven-page note addressed "PIGS READ THIS," she claimed to have killed Killgore and dumped her body "in almost plain sight" and that Perez was not involved in the killing.

In the note, Lopez referred to Perez as "Master" and Maraglino as "Mistress."

Killgore's body showed signs of strangulation and attempts at dismemberment, according to one of the search warrants. After her death, her estranged husband, Cory, returned to the U.S. from deployment in Afghanistan. She had filed for divorce just days before her death.

Perez, Lopez, and Maraglino remain in jail awaiting trial, each on bail of $3 million. The news organizations' request for the search warrants was opposed by the district attorney's office.

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Brittany Dawn Killgore. Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department