Sat, Jul 21, 2012 - Page 7 News List

‘Sex dungeon’ may have played role in US murder

AP, SAN DIEGO, California

Three roommates with a “sex dungeon” at their home may have murdered a US Marine’s wife as they tried to satisfy their fetishes, investigators said in newly unsealed search warrants.

Detectives found “bondage-type sex apparatuses, toys and tools” at the home of the man and two women who have been charged with murder in the death of 22-year-old Brittany Killgore, whose body was found near a California lake. The warrants were unsealed on Wednesday at the media’s request.

Investigators believe all three suspects were with Killgore at their home north of San Diego shortly after the victim sent a text message to a friend saying “Help.”

Killgore was last seen on April 13, three days after filing for divorce from Lance Corporal Cory Killgore, who was serving in Afghanistan.

The documents say her body was found with neck injuries consistent with strangulation, and marks on her wrist and leg that suggested someone tried to use a saw or other tool to dismember her.

A San Diego County sheriff’s detective said in one affidavit that the trio may have targeted Killgore for their “unusual sexual fetishes.” Louis Ray Perez and Dorothy Maraglino told authorities they were involved in “master, servant and slave role playing.”

The third suspect, Jessica Lopez, said she strangled the victim, fearing the victim would upend the kinky sex ring by seducing her “master,” according to the warrants. Lopez wrote in a seven-page letter that she believed Killgore was trying to come between her, Perez and Maraglino. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Lopez, who calls Perez her “master,” shoulders full blame for the killing, saying she acted after the victim told her that she had a “whole night planned” with Perez.

The documents give no indication that Killgore knew about the sex ring and prosecutors call her an innocent victim. Detectives said she accepted Perez’s invitation to a San Diego dinner cruise after Perez helped her move that afternoon. The warrants do not say how Killgore met the suspects.

Sloan Ostbye, Lopez’s attorney, did not immediately respond to a phone message on Wednesday. She joined the San Diego County district attorney’s office in an appeal to keep the documents sealed, calling much of her client’s letter “false or at least misleading and possibly delusional.”

All three defendants are being held on US$3 million bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

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