Brittany Killgore, slain wife of Marine, lured to her death by dinner cruise offer, prosecutors say

Brittany Dawn Killgore

San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
Brittany Dawn Killgore
San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.

(CBS/AP) VISTA, Calif. - Prosecutors say Brittany Killgore, the slain wife of a Camp Pendleton marine, was lured to her death with a supposed dinner cruise.

Pictures: Marine's wife missing, cops suspect foul play

New details were revealed in court Tuesday as Dorothy Maraglino, 36, pleaded not guilty to murder in Killgore's death. Maraglino was arrested last week in a downtown San Diego hotel, nearly a month after the body of the 22-year-old Killgore was discovered in brush near Southern California's Lake Skinner. Maraglino's 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 also both pleaded not guilty to murder.

Prosecutors say the night Killgore was killed, she was lured by Maraglino to go on a purported dinner cruise in San Diego with Perez, according to CBS affiliate KFMB.

Killgore was initially unwilling to go and was concerned because of previous ill-will directed toward her by Maraglino, Espinoza reportedly said outside court Tuesday. Killgore was assured by Maraglino that it was OK for her to go with Perez and he picked up Killgore, KFMB reports.

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.

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. The home where the killing allegedly occurred was one mile from Killgore's second-floor apartment overlooking the base.

Complete coverage of Brittany Killgore on Crimesider