(SAN DIEGO) — A Marine already charged with illegal possession of an assault rifle was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murder in the killing of Marine wife Brittany Killgore.
Staff Sgt. Louis Ray Perez, 45, was arrested on the new charge at Vista Detention, where he is being held.
Killgore, 22, of Fallbrook, Calif., disappeared April 13, after telling friends she was going out in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Her body was found four days later, dumped near Lake Skinner in Riverside County, Calif.
Jessica Lopez, 25, was already charged with first-degree murder in Killgore’s death. She entered a not-guilty plea in court April 19, and was ordered held on $3 million bail, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said.
Lopez was arrested at a Ramada Inn in San Diego on April 17. She is now in jail.
Key to the case was an apparent suicide note found in Lopez’s hotel room that detailed the 22-year-old Killgore’s fate and the location of her body, according to ABC News affiliate KGTV in San Diego.
According to legal records, Lopez once lived with Perez, who had been considered a person of interest in the case since the investigation into Killgore’s disappearance began. Police had said they believed he may have been the last person to see Killgore alive.
Perez was arraigned April 18 on an unrelated charge of possession of an AR-15 assault rifle and was ordered held on $500,000 bail.
Authorities have not commented on the connection between Killgore, Lopez and Perez.
The slain woman’s grandmother, Cheryl Coble, told the Park Hills Daily Journal in Missouri that Killgore, Perez and his girlfriend were supposed to go on a dinner cruise the night of April 13, but the girlfriend backed out. Coble said she was unsure if her granddaughter made it to the cruise.
Killgore told friends she was going to spend the evening in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. However, authorities said they believed she never made it. Her cellphone was recovered in the area by San Diego trolley security, triggering an investigation.
Killgore filed for a divorce from her husband, Cory Killgore, also 22, just days before she disappeared. Cory Killgore returned from Afghanistan last week following the news of his wife’s disappearance.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire