Third Person In Custody In Connection To Marine Wife Murder
Friday, May 11, 2012
A third person was in custody today in connection with the killing of a 22-year-old North County military wife, whose nude body was found dumped alongside a rural road in southern Riverside County last month.
Sheriff's homicide detectives working with Naval Criminal Investigative Service personnel arrested Dorothy Grace Marie Maraglino, 36, at a downtown San Diego hotel Thursday night on suspicion of murder in the death of Brittany Killgore, according to San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.
"Maraglino's arrest was a result of information and evidence obtained during the ongoing investigation in this case,'' Gore said in a statement. "No further information will be released at this time as the investigation continues.''
Killgore's body was found April 17 off Borel and Warren roads near Lake Skinner, four days after she went missing. Authorities said she was the victim of "homicidal violence'' but have yet to elaborate.
Also charged in the case are Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, and Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Ray Perez, 45. Both have pleaded not guilty to murder and each remains jailed in lieu of $3 million bail. Maraglino is expected to enter her plea at an arraignment scheduled for Monday afternoon, according to jail records.
Lopez was arrested a few hours before Killgore's body was discovered on April 17. Authorities at the time said information obtained from the arrest led them to Killgore's body.
Lopez turned 25 the day Killgore disappeared and apparently attempted suicide just prior to being arrested, leaving behind a note that has since been sealed by a judge. She was hospitalized for less than a day before being booked into jail.
Perez was taken into custody two days earlier than Lopez, on suspicion of possessing an AR-15 assault rifle stolen from Camp Pendleton, where he is based. He was re-arrested on suspicion of murder April 24.
Authorities said the night she disappeared, Killgore had plans to go out in downtown San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter with Perez and another woman, who canceled at the last minute. Killgore sent a text message later that night to a friend saying she was in distress and needed help, Deputy District Attorney Patrick Espinoza said at Perez's arraignment.
Investigators subsequently contacted Perez, who said he had dropped off Killgore in downtown San Diego, when in fact he had been in Fallbrook at the time in question, according to Espinoza.
During a search of Perez's vehicle, detectives discovered the victim's blood and a weapon, Espinoza told Superior Court Judge Kimberlee Lagotta.
Authorities have not disclosed the nature of the relationship between Killgore and Lopez or Killgore and Maraglino. However, all three hailed from Fallbrook and property records showed Perez and Lopez were roommates, living in close proximity to the apartment Killgore shared with her husband. Also, Fallbrook locals told reporters Killgore and Lopez frequented the same bar.
Killgore filed for divorce from her Marine husband several days before she disappeared. At the time, he was deployed in Afghanistan and authorities have said he is not implicated in the case. Killgore's family said she was in the process of moving to Pennsylvania to be with family.
Killgore's husband, Cory, was granted leave to return from Afghanistan.
He has since spoken publicly about his wife just once, saying in a statement that she was "beautiful beyond words'' and that he was "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 said.
The 22-year-old lance corporal also urged people to "honor my wife's name, and don't succumb to salacious gossip and rumor.''