Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
DNA of both Louis Perez and murder victim found on “stun baton”
Investigators collected evidence from homes and cars of suspects
Shelley Webster, a forensic biologist, told a judge she found the DNA of Louis Perez on the strap and handle of a “stun baton” that was collected as evidence in the murder case of Brittany Killgore, who went missing almost a year ago, in April of 2012.
Brittany Killgore’s DNA was found on the “prong end” of the same stun baton, according to Webster, who has worked with the nationally known San Diego County Sheriff’s Regional Crime Lab for thirteen years.
The criminalist also tested red stains found on discarded gloves and plastic bags collected by investigators. Webster said her tests confirmed the stains were blood, and they DNA-matched to Brittany Killgore.
Investigators have said they believe Brittany Killgore was killed in a “torture dungeon” in a home in Fallbrook, a rural community in Southern California. Three persons who frequented that home are pleading not-guilty to charges of kidnap and torture and murder. Louis Perez, 46, and Jessica Lopez, 25, and Dorothy Maraglino, 37 have been listening to testimony every day this past week, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.
Three days after Brittany Killgore went missing, investigators found what was termed a “suicide note” in the same room with suspect Jessica Lopez. Seven hand-written pages included these statements: “I hid the body of that (slur) in almost plain sight she didn’t deserve a burial. I dropped that useless waste of space off some little hill off the road by lake skinner….. But since I know how incompetent you are here’s what you’ll find.…you’ll also find a taser mark and several ligature marks around her scrawny little neck as the (slur) just wouldn’t die…. Since you can’t even figure out when you last took a dump without a fucking record I’ll put this down piece by piece so you don’t have to guess….Friday night…I opened the door and she barged in…. I know what I had to do. I grabbed her ankle slamming her into the stairs. Ducktaping her ankles, wrist & mouth. She tried to scream & I zapped her with the tazer….”
The note was signed by Jessica Lopez; a handwriting expert confirmed in court yesterday March 15, 2013, that the note was indeed written by Lopez.
The note reportedly helped investigators find the body of 22-year-old Brittany Killgore in the dirt and weeds alongside a road near Lake Skinner, on April 17, 2012.
The young woman was declared missing after she failed to return from a date with a 46-year-old sergeant in the Marines named Louis Ray Perez, on Friday the 13th of April. Brittany Killgore was married to a Marine deployed in Afghanistan at the time.
The sixth day of a preliminary hearing is set for Monday, March 18, 2013, before the Honorable K. Michael Kirkman.