A Missouri man has been charged with multiple felony counts following a gruesome series of events during which he allegedly posed his two children with his wife’s dead body, dismembered the corpse, toted around her remains in a cooler, and lived with the children and the human remains in a Kansas City storage unit, People is reporting.
Justin Rey, 35, appeared in a Kansas City courtroom this week to answer charges stemming from the events of the four-day period between October 20 and 24.
Based on police reports, witness statements, and Rey’s own conflicting statements to the police, authorities have pieced together a timeline of the events leading up to Rey being caught with his children living in a storage unit with his wife’s remains.
Rey and his wife, Jessica Rey, had been staying in a motel in the Kansas City area since late September. On October 20, authorities believe Jessica Rey gave birth to an infant in the hotel room’s bathtub. Rey allegedly told authorities that he used a plastic fastener and a shoe string to secure the umbilical cord. The baby survived, Jessica did not.
Authorities believe that Rey then posed two children — the newborn infant and the couple’s 2-year-old child — for photos with Jessica’s dead body, according to WDAF (Kansas City).
Rey then allegedly dismembered Jessica’s body and put her remains in a cooler. What wouldn’t fit in the cooler he allegedly either tried to flush down the toilet or boiled in a pot on a stove in the hotel room.
On October 23, Rey called the front desk and, attempting to disguise his voice to sound like a female, checked out of the hotel. Hotel surveillance video shows a man — allegedly Rey — leaving the building with the children, pulling a cooler with a black bag on top of it behind him.
They allegedly spent the next few nights in a storage unit in Lenexa, Kansas, with Jessica’s remains.
On October 24, Rey allegedly bummed a ride from a couple, stopping first at the storage unit, with a view toward getting on a train and leaving town. At the storage unit, the couple noticed brown liquid leaking from the cooler Rey was pulling. Storage facility employees called the police.
As of this writing, Rey has been charged with abandonment of a corpse and endangering the welfare of a child. Authorities have not yet tied Rey to Jessica’s death, although charges in that case may be forthcoming. Meanwhile, authorities have not released Jessica’s official cause of death.
The two children have been placed into emergency custody of the state. Rey remains incarcerated on $100,000 bond.
[Featured Image by Tammy Ljungblad/The Kansas City Star via AP, Pool]