Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Cipher expert hired to decode message in murder case
Source says disguised communication found in defendant's jail cell
The District Attorney’s office may have hired a cipher expert to decode a document found in the jail cell of a defendant charged in a notorious murder, according to a well-placed source.
The defense attorney for one female defendant in the Brittany Killgore murder case has been filing motions trying to prevent prosecution from gaining access to certain documents found in that defendant’s jail cell. Defense requests were apparently denied, and now a prosecutor is trying to decode at least one of the pages, according to a reliable source. The captured message is said to be disguised, written in some kind of code.
The body of 22-year-old Brittany Dawn Killgore was found on April 17, 2012, in a remote area north of San Diego County. Sheriff’s detectives issued a statement early in their investigation of a missing-person case, stating that Louis Ray Perez was the person last seen with Brittany Killgore, on Friday, April 13, 2012.
Brittany Killgore was married to a Marine reportedly deployed to Afghanistan at the time of her disappearance.
Louis Ray Perez, 46, was an active-duty Marine when he was arrested. He and co-defendants Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, and Dorothy Maraglino, 37, have all pleaded not-guilty to murder. All three defendants also face special circumstance allegations of conspiracy and kidnap and torture; these make the accused eligible for the death penalty.
Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, was found in a hotel room in San Diego with reportedly self-inflicted cuts to her neck and arms. In the same room with her, investigators found a so-called suicide note, which contained shocking details of the killing of a woman, and apparently led investigators to find the body of missing Brittany Killgore.
Dorothy Maraglino reportedly gave birth (while in custody) to a baby girl fathered by her co-defendant Louis Perez.
Search warrants in this case revealed a frightening list of evidence that detectives have gathered, including: nylon rope and hairs from rope, used duct tape, plastic bags, rope/pulley system in plastic bag, Black & Decker saber saw and red skill saw in downstairs bedroom closet, documents – slave contract, Slave Rules handwritten note on top of file cabinet, red dog collar with heart pendant and red stains, stun baton and stun gun. These items were taken from defendants’ vehicles and Jessica Lopez’ home, according to search warrants.
More details of this case are expected to be revealed in two weeks, when prosecutor Patrick Espinoza presents evidence in a preliminary hearing on March 11, in San Diego’s North County Superior courthouse.