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Coroner: Body of woman is that of Brittany Killgore, missing wife of Marine


Brittany Dawn Killgore was reported missing Saturday.

The body of a woman found in California's Riverside County is that of a Marine's wife who disappeared last week, the county coroner said Wednesday.

Brittany Killgore, 22, was last seen on Friday in San Diego County and was reported missing the next day. Her husband, Cory Killgore, is based at Camp Pendleton but has been deployed to Afghanistan.

Another Camp Pendleton Marine who authorities say is a person of interest in her disappearance pleaded not guilty to weapons-theft charges Wednesday, the North County Times of Escondido, Calif., reported. Authorities said they found an AR-15 rifle taken from the Marine base in the car of Louis Perez, 45, and questioned him about Killgore’s disappearance. Detectives said he has been uncooperative.

Authorities have said Perez was the last person seen with Killgore.

On Tuesday, a woman was arrested in relation to Killgore’s disappearance. Jessica Lynn Lopez, 27, was booked into Las Colinas women's jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. Lynn was taken into custody after deputies found her at the Ramada Inn in Point Loma with self-inflicted wounds, Lt. Larry Nesbit said. A suicide note in her motel room reportedly led investigators to the female body in a rural area of Riverside County, the Times reported.

Perez was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail after the hearing, the Times reported. Lopez is scheduled for a court appearance Thursday.

Police have not explained the relationship among Perez, Lopez and Killgore.

The developments came as word emerged that she had planned to leave her Fallbrook home and return to her parents’ Pennsylvania home, the North County Times reported.

Killgore was reported missing Saturday after a stranger called her parents from Killgore’s cell phone, said her grandmother, Cheryl Coble of Farmington, Mo.

A homeless man in downtown San Diego was attempting to sell the phone to the stranger, Coble said. The stranger then called Michelle Wrest, Killgore’s mother, who contacted authorities.

Killgore was supposed to go out with Perez and his girlfriend on a dinner cruise on Friday, Coble said. She said the girlfriend decided not to go on the cruise at the last minute and the Wrest family is unsure whether Killgore made it to the dinner. It was not clear who the girlfriend was.

On April 10, Killgore filed for divorce from her husband.

Coble said Killgore was supposed to go to her parents’ house in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Authorities found luggage and a laptop case at Killgore’s apartment and her belongings had been shipped to her parents’ house, according to Coble.

"She just wanted to be at her parents' house," Coble said. “[She] just wanted to sit and hold her new niece.”

Darryl Wrest, Killgore’s father, and her grandfather, Jim Wrest, are in San Diego. Cory Killgore is expected back from Afghanistan by the end of the week.

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