3rd person charged in Marine wife's death in Calif

May 15, 2012 - 9:55 PM

VISTA, Calif. (AP) — A third person pleaded not guilty to murder Tuesday in the death of a Camp Pendleton Marine's wife.

Dorothy Maraglino, 36, was arrested last week in a downtown San Diego hotel, nearly a month after the body of 22-year-old Brittany Killgore was discovered in brush near Southern California's Lake Skinner. Her bail was set at $3 million.

Patrick Espinoza, a San Diego County deputy district attorney, identified Maraglino as a girlfriend of 45-year-old Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Ray Perez, who is married to another woman. They lived with Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, in the Fallbrook home where Killgore was allegedly killed.

Perez and Lopez have pleaded not guilty to murder.

Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the killing, which has shaken many at Camp Pendleton and in Fallbrook, a town of 38,000 people known for its avocado orchards and proximity to the base. The yellow-stucco home where the killing allegedly occurred was one mile from Killgore's second-floor apartment overlooking the base.

Killgore went to the home with a friend who bought something online from Maraglino, said Espinoza, who declined to describe the item but called it "innocuous." Perez's dinner invitation followed.

Investigators found Killgore's blood and a weapon in Perez's car, according to prosecutors. Perez told investigators he dropped off Killgore in downtown San Diego's bustling Gaslamp District, but investigators concluded he lied about his whereabouts and stayed in Fallbrook.

Killgore was last seen April 13 in a purple evening gown, three days after she filed for divorce from Lance Cpl. Cory Killgore, who was serving in Afghanistan at the time.

Cory Killgore has not been named as a suspect or person of interest in the killing and has said he is devastated by his wife's death. The couple married in July 2010.