Brittany Killgore: Hearing Begins in Torture, Murder of Marine Wife

PHOTO: Brittany Killgore, 22, was last seen alive on Friday, April 13.ABC
Brittany Killgore, 22, was last seen alive on Friday, April 13, 2012.

The three suspects in the murder of Brittany Killgore, a Marine's wife whose naked and mutilated body was found on the side of a California road, are scheduled to appear in court today for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for them to stand trial.

Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. Louis Ray Perez, 46, Dorothy Grace Marie Maraglino, 37, and Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Killgore in April 2012. The defendants also face conspiracy, kidnapping and torture charges.

The hearing, which is being held in Vista Superior Court in Vista, Calif., is expected to last five days. All three suspects have pleaded not guilty.

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Killgore, 22, of Fallbrook, Calif., disappeared April 13, 2012, after telling friends she was going out in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. Her body was found four days later, dumped near Lake Skinner in Riverside County, Calif.

Investigators said the suspects, who had all lived together at one point in Fallbrook, had interests in BDSM and had kidnapped Killgore, an unwilling participant, to act out their fantasies.

Perez picked up Killgore for a dinner cruise, prosecutors said, but instead took her to his home against her will. He allegedly texted Lopez and Maraglino to join them at the home, where there were ropes, whips, a taser, a nightstick, spiked gloves and a sex dungeon, ABC News' San Diego affiliate KGTV reported.

Four days later, investigators got a break in the case after paramedics were called to a San Diego hotel, where Jessica Lynn Lopez was found with self-inflicted cuts, prosecutors said.

Key to the case was an apparent suicide note found in Lopez's hotel room at the time of her arrest that described Killgore's fate and gave the location of her body. Hours later, authorities located the mutilated remains.

Killgore filed for a divorce from her husband, Cory Killgore, days before she disappeared. Killgore was in Afghanistan at the time of his wife's murder and is not considered a suspect.