The husband of a woman whose dismembered body was found in a Lenexa storage unit was charged Wednesday with abandonment of a corpse.
Justin Rey told police that his wife died after giving birth in a Kansas City hotel room and he cut up her body in the bathtub, according to court documents filed Wednesday in Jackson County.
A large cooler and plastic tub containing the remains of Jessica Monteiro Rey were discovered last month by Lenexa police.
Lenexa police made the grisly discovery last month after they were called by employes of the storage facility because Rey was sleeping in the unit with two small children.
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Police found Rey staying in the storage unit with his two children, a 2-year-old and a 4-day-old newborn.
Because he had a newborn, an officer asked Rey where his wife was. Rey said she was in the cooler and a tote he had with him, according to an affidavit filed in Johnson County District Court.
“An autopsy was conducted on the body parts found in the two coolers,” according to the affidavit. “Based on preliminary autopsy findings, the dismembered body was that of Rey’s dead wife.”
Justin Rey, 35, is now jailed in Johnson County where he is charged with two counts of aggravated child endangerment and two counts of contributing to a child’s misconduct.
The children are in protective custody, according to the documents. The newborn, who was four days old, was not wearing adequate clothing and had an eye infection, according to the documents.
According to documents filed Wednesday in the Jackson County case, Rey, his pregnant wife and 2-year-old daughter checked into the Kansas City hotel on Sept. 25.
After his arrest in Lenexa, he told told investigators that his wife died after delivering the baby girl in the bathtub.
He said he spent two days with her body in the room before he dismembered her in the bathtub while the children were present, according to the documents.
Hotel employees said Jessica Rey had last been seen on Oct. 20. On Oct. 23, Justin Rey disguised his voice to sound like a woman and called the front desk to check out, the court documents allege.
He left the hotel that day pulling a large cooler and a large plastic bag.
Before his arrest in Lenexa the next day, Rey was at a business in Kansas City with the children. A Kansas City man and his wife gave them a ride to Lenexa.
That man, who asked that his name not be used, said he felt bad for the children. The 2-year-old did not look healthy, he said.
“It was just a sad sight to us,” he said.
Rey told them that his wife had died in childbirth. He did not seem agitated or upset, the man said.
He told them that he was planning to get some belongings from the storage locker and then go to Union Station to catch a train to Flagstaff, Ariz., where he said he had relatives.
The man said he offered to give them a ride to the train station.
Once at the storage unit, he said Rey got out a large cooler, a large plastic tub and a container of liquid that Rey said was urine because they had staying in the unit.
“He was pretty matter of fact,” the man said.
They were leaving the storage unit when Lenexa police arrived.