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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Surveillance video could offer clues on what happened to a man found murdered inside a Churchill Downs barn. Police are looking for more information on arguments that flared up on Derby day.
On the backside of Churchill Downs, spectators watched as Derby Winner I'll Have Another was hand-fed carrots before shipping off to Maryland for the second leg of the Triple Crown. But another event may be overshadowing the colt's victory -- a murder just a few barns away.
48-year-old Adan Perez worked as a horse groomer for several years at the backside, living in a dorm with his brother-in-law, and 19-year-old son, Wilson, close by. "Wilson was trying to call his father, and knew that something was wrong, when he couldn't get through to him," said Chaplain Ken Boehm.
Perez was found dead early Sunday morning in Barn 8. His own son had to identify the body. "So that was very very emotional time of course, as it would be for any of us to have to go through that," added Boehm.
An autopsy was performed Monday, but to protect the integrity of the case, police and the coroner wouldn't release details on the wounds found on Perez' body which will be flown back to his native Guatemala.
At any given time, you can find 600 people on the backside that live inside the dorms. But on Derby day, officials say many more were at the backside partying just like anyone else in the city. Homicide detectives are looking at surveillance video to piece together what may have happened on the backside Derby day, leading up to the murder. "We know there were some altercations prior to, was he involved? We're not sure and that's why we're trying to get those individuals who saw those altercations or may know what happened to come in and speak to us," said Lt. Barry Wilkerson, LMPD Homicide.
News outlets around the globe grabbed on to the story. "Had this happened on another evening other than the night of KY Derby, we probably would not have heard it to the extent that we have," said Boehm.
But now the attention has turned to finding whoever's responsible. "To me it's another individual that's lost their life," said Wilkerson, "and it's our duty to find out who did this."
If you have any information, you are asked to call the anonymous police tip line at 574-LMPD.