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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Police Identify Kentucky Derby Murder Victim, Believe He Was Killed After "Altercation"

Illustration for article titled Police Identify Kentucky Derby Murder Victim, Believe He Was Killed After Altercation

Louisville police briefed the media this morning on the shocking news that a horse groom was murdered at Churchill Downs following the Kentucky Derby. Lt. Barry Wilkerson of the Louisville Metro Police Department just wrapped up a 20-minute press conference and gave a clearer picture of what went down and what investigators are still piecing together.


• The victim was 48-year-old Adan Fabian Perez, who is from Guatemala and appears to have been working as a groom for Cecil Borel, a longtime trainer who is the brother of famed jockey Calvin Borel.


• Perez's body was discovered around 5 a.m. Sunday morning in Barn #8.

• The Louisville medical examiner is currently doing an autopsy and results are expected shortly.

• Police are "hearing there were some altercations earlier in the day," according to Wilkerson, and are currently interviewing witnesses to see if anyone can make a firm identification as to who else was involved.

• Their best guess, so far, is that Perez was killed and his body placed in the barn some time after midnight Sunday.


• Police have little doubt that Perez was murdered. His manner of death, according to Wilkerson, "just wasn't a natural event." He would not comment on what kind of weapon was used, only to say there "were some wounds that obviously suspect foul play was involved."

• There are security cameras in the immediate area. Wilkerson would not say where they are located, except to say they're reviewing the footage to see if it can be of help.


• Wilkerson would not comment on rumors that Perez's body was covered in feed bags when it was discovered.

For all the information Wilkerson shared, he was cagey on the question of whether any suspects had been identified or person of interests were being sought out. It sounds as if the LMPD has a lot of info it's sifting through right now, and with all the national attention this case has brought Churchill Downs, in the wake of I'll Have Another's dramatic victory on Saturday, it'd be shocking if the police—between the security footage and potential eyewitnesses to the "altercations"—didn't soon have a clear suspect in mind.



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