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Investigators find body of Marine's missing wife

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 2:32 AM EDT, Thu April 19, 2012
  • Brittany Killgore went missing Friday night
  • Two people are in custody in connection with the case
  • She had recently filed for divorce from her husband
  • Her husband is a Marine who was deployed in Afghanistan

Read more about this story from CNN affiliate KGTV

(CNN) -- A body found Tuesday in California is that of Brittany Killgore, the missing wife of a deployed Marine, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.

Killgore, 22, was last seen alive Friday night when she left her apartment wearing an evening dress, heading out on a date with 45-year-old Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Perez, investigators said.

Killgore had recently filed for divorce from her husband, Marine Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore, who was serving with an artillery unit in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, they said. He left for the United States on emergency leave when he learned his wife was missing.

Two people are in custody in connection with the case. One is Perez, who was questioned after a friend filed a missing persons report for Killgore, then later arrested on charges of possession of a stolen assault rifle.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Perez is being "actively investigated" in connection with Killgore's death.

The other person in custody is Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, who was found at a Ramada motel near the San Diego airport Tuesday after paramedics responded to a call for medical help. Lopez was briefly hospitalized with lacerations, then jailed on suspicion of Killgore's murder.

Her relationship to Killgore is still unclear. CNN affiliate KGTV in San Diego reported that authorities found Killgore's body based on leads stemming from Lopez's arrest.

Investigators later found Killgore's body in a rural part of neighboring Riverside County. Authorities have not said how she died.

Perez, who is based at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, pleaded not guilty to a weapons and stolen property charge Wednesday. The judge set bail at $500,000.

"We believe he knows more than what he initially told us," said Sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser. "We do not believe he is being cooperative with us."

CNN's Casey Wian contributed to this report.