Louisville police investigate suspicious death at Churchill Downs

May 06, 2012|By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun


As trainer Doug O'Neill spoke of winning a Triple Crown outside his Churchill Downs barn early Sunday morning, police investigated the suspicious death of a man 100yards away.

Louisville metro police were made aware of the body shortly before 5 a.m., the morning after the Kentucky Derby attracted a record 165,307 people to the historic track. Investigators at the scene found evidence of an altercation and suspected foul play, police spokesperson Alicia Smiley said. They have no suspects at this time and are waiting for a report from the coroner's office to identify the victim.

The Courier-Journal identified him as Adan Fabian Perez, a 48-year-old native of Guatemala. A groom for trainer Cecil Borel — brother of three-time Derby winning jockey Calvin — Perez, who lived at the track, was identified by his son 19-year-old son, also a track worker.

Stable hands often live near the track's 48 barns — if not in them — and begin work caring for the horses very early in the morning.

Though a robust security force had guarded the grounds of the track Saturday, by Sunday it had shrunk considerably.

Smiley would not answer specific questions about the condition or location of the body, other than to say it was not inside a horse stall. Police said they did not have any reason to believe the apparent murder was connected to the Derby.



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