Updated on 05/10/2012 1:07PM

Churchill Downs: Dead groom may have been involved in one of several Derby night altercations

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission
Adan Perez was found dead on the Churchill Downs backstretch early Sunday morning.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville Metro Police said at a Monday news conference that they have no suspects in the case of the Guatemalan man whose body was found early Sunday morning in a Churchill Downs barn just hours after the Kentucky Derby was run, but that they suspect he may have been involved in one of several altercations that took place in the stable area in the Derby aftermath.

Lt. Barry Wilkerson said police expect an autopsy performed Monday on Adan Fabian Perez, 48, to confirm that he was murdered. Homicide detectives have been investigating the case since the body was found in Barn 8 early Sunday.

Wilkerson said Perez might not have been involved in any of the altercations but that detectives have been conducting interviews to determine whether he was. Wilkerson said detectives believe the murder occurred in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Perez was a groom who had been working for trainer Cecil Borel and lived in backstretch housing. He had been licensed with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission since 2008. His body was found shortly before 5 a.m. Eastern on Sunday and was identified later in the day by Perez’s 19-year-old son, who also has been working in the stable area at Churchill.

There is no apparent connection to Churchill or the Derby, and track spokesman John Asher said no changes in security procedures have been ordered, given that the incident is an isolated one.