Brittany Killgore Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty, Held On $3 Million Bail

PHOTO: Brittany Killgore, 22, was last seen alive on Friday, April 13.
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The suspect in the killing of Marine wife Brittany Killgore entered a not guilty plea in court today and was ordered to be held on $3 million bail.

Jessica Lopez, 25, was charged with first degree murder today in the death of Brittany Killgore, 22, of Fallbrook, Calif. Killgore's body was found dumped near Lake Skinner in Riverside County, Calif., the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday.

Lopez was arrested at a Ramada Inn in San Diego Tuesday and then treated for an undisclosed medical condition at a hospital before she was taken into custody.

Key to the case was an apparent suicide note at the arrest scene that detailed the 22-year-old Killgore's fate and the location of her body, according to ABC News affiliate KGTV in San Diego.

Darryl Wrest, Killgore's father said the family was "devastated and ask to be left alone to grieve at this time."

"Brittany is my daughter. I am here to speak for Brittany as her voice was taken from her. Brittany was a beautiful, kind, caring, young woman trying to find her way in this world. Family and friends love and miss Brittany beyond words. Brittany, was a victim, she did nothing wrong," Wrest said in a statement issued at an afternoon news conference. "There have been stories and comments made from people who do not know my daughter and have their own agendas or opinions. These stories have absolutely no basis in fact. Please leave my daughter in peace, she does not deserve to be a victim of lies and innuendo anymore than she deserved to be murdered."

Dean Broyles, the Lopez family attorney, told the Associated Press there is "speculation, a lot of innuendo, a lot of weak allegations and charges out there."

The Lopez family said they are praying for the "family of Brittany Killgore and ask that the Lord comfort them during their time of grief and anguish."

"We ask that you pray for all those impacted by this tragic situation, including our family. We are dealing with a lot as a family right now. We love our daughter Iessica and have nothing to share with you at this time," the Lopez family said according to a statement released through an attorney KGTV reported.

According to legal records, Lopez once lived with Staff Sgt. Louis Ray Perez, who is considered a person of interest in the case and is behind bars on unrelated charges. Police believe the 45-year-old Marine may have been the last person to see Killgore alive.

Perez is being investigated and has not been cooperative in his interview, according to Lt. Larry Nesbit of the San Diego Sheriff's Office.

The Marine was arraigned Wednesday on an unrelated charge of possession of an AR-15 assault rifle. He is being held on $500,000 bail and has not been charged in Killgore's murder.

Authorities have not commented on the connection between Killgore, Lopez and Perez.

The slain woman's grandmother, Cheryl Coble, told the Park Hills Daily Journal in Missouri that Killgore, Perez and his girlfriend were supposed to go on a dinner cruise Friday night but the girlfriend backed out. Coble said she was unsure if her granddaughter made it to the cruise.

Killgore told friends she was going to spend Friday evening in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. However, authorities believe she never made it. Her cell phone was recovered in the area by San Diego trolley security, triggering an investigation.

Killgore filed for a divorce from her husband, Cory Killgore, also 22, just days before she disappeared Friday evening. Cory Killgore was returning from Afghanistan this week following the news of his wife's disappearance.

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