Discuss as:

Police: No suspects in slaying hours after Kentucky Derby

The discovery of a man's body in the stable area of Churchill Downs was being investigated as a homicide. Msnbc's Alex Witt talks with investigative crime reporter Michelle Sigona.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Homicide detectives investigating a slaying at Churchill Downs just hours after the Kentucky Derby said Monday they have no suspects but stressed the death appeared to have nothing to do with the iconic horse race.

Louisville Police Lt. Barry Wilkerson said Monday investigators are asking witnesses to come forward with information in the slaying of 48-year-old Adan Fabian Perez.

An autopsy was conducted to determine the cause of death, but Jo-Ann Farmer, chief deputy coroner for Jefferson County, said the office was withholding information pending the investigation into the death. She said the autopsy did reveal injuries on Perez's body.

Perez's body was found Sunday morning in a barn on the track's backside. The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Perez worked at the track as a groom for trainer Cecil Borel, brother of three-time Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel.

Wilkerson says there were several altercations in that area of Churchill Downs on Saturday night, and police are trying to determine if Perez's death is connected. He says he's hoping witnesses come forward who might have information on what happened to Perez.


Perez's body was found in the back portion of Barn No. 8, just a few barns away from where Derby winner I'll Have Another was stabled. 

'Some type of altercation'

On Sunday, Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley told NBC News station WAVE 3 that Perez "did sustain injuries that lead us to believe he was involved in some type of altercation." Smiley said.

"[Detectives] were able to determine that there is foul play involved, however we still do not have an exact cause of death and we'll have to await the coroner's report for those details," Smiley said. 

More headlines from wave3.com

Jo-Ann Farmer, chief deputy coroner for Jefferson County, said Perez was identified by his 19-year-old son, who works at the track.

The body was found in a barn occupied by Louisville trainer Angel Montano Sr., Smiley said. Montano did not have a horse in Saturday's derby.

Police interviewed people who live above the barns to try to piece together what happened. About 200 people live at Churchill Downs at any given time — either in dormitories on the edge of the property or in small apartments above some of the barns themselves.

"We don't have anything pointing to the fact that this would have had any association in terms of Churchill Downs or the derby itself," Smiley told WAVE 3.

I'll Have Another, ridden by jockey Mario Gutierrez, won the 138th running of the race at Churchill Downs in a stunning finish before a record crowd of more than 165,000 people.

About a week after last year's Kentucky Derby, jockey Michael Baze's body was found in a vehicle near the track's stables. His death was ruled an accidental overdose.

NBC News station WAVE3, NBC News' Michelle Franzen, msnbc.com staff and The Associated Press contributed to this story.