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Churchill Downs death probe yields no suspects

Monday, May 7, 2012 - 12:19pm

A medical examiner is investigating the death of a 48-year-old stable worker named Adan Fabian Perez, a Guatemala native discovered in the back of a barn at Churchill Downs one day after the storied Louisville racetrack hosted the Kentucky Derby.

There are no suspects at this time, Louisville Police Lt. Barry Wilkerson said Monday, noting that police are investigating several altercations that occurred at the track.

It is not clear if those altercations are related to Perez's death, which police are treating as a possible homicide due to his wounds and the location of the body.

Workers discovered the body around 5 a.m. and notified track security, who called police, said police spokesman Robert Biven.

Perez worked for veteran horse trainer Cecil Borel, who is the brother of three-time Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel.

"Those folks are devastated," said Churchill Downs spokesman John Asher.

Perez had been working for Borel since 2008, and had been found at Barn No. 8, which was not the one he normally worked at, Asher said.

About 400 people were located Saturday night in the rear of the racetrack, he said. "So we are trying to speak with as many people as we possibly can. We do have a few leads coming in."

Biven described the track's backside as "like a mini-city," with 48 barns, workers' dormitories and areas where trainers live. "It's a 24-hour operation," he said.

Perez was working at Churchill Downs along with his 19-year-old son, who identified his father's body.


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