KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A homeless man posed for photos with his dead wife, along with their newborn and toddler, before dismembering her body in a Kansas City hotel room, according to court records.
Justin Rey, 35, who was arrested last month after being found with the remains at a Kansas storage unit, was charged Wednesday with abandonment of a corpse and child endangerment in Jackson County in Missouri, The Kansas City Star reports. He’s jailed on $1 million bond in Johnson County, Kansas, on child endangerment charges.
Court records say Rey told police that his wife, Jessica Monteiro Rey, died after giving birth Oct. 20. Rey told police he dismembered her body in a bathtub two days later with the children present. Rey put some of her body parts in a large cooler and disposed of the remains that didn’t fit.
According to a search warrant, hotel management said Rey tried to disguise his voice as a woman’s when he called the front desk to check out Oct. 23. The warrant says surveillance video footage shows him pulling a red cooler with a black bag on top through the hotel, while pushing a stroller with a toddler walking beside him.
The remains were discovered Oct. 24 inside a cooler and tote at a U-Haul Moving and Storage facility in nearby Lenexa, Kansas, after Rey slept there with the children. Emergency responders checked on the children, who were later taken to a hospital. The affidavit says the baby wasn’t wearing adequate clothing and had an eye infection.
After Rey was arrested and put in a police vehicle, he was asked about his wife’s whereabouts. He responded that she had died several days earlier and was in the cooler and one of the totes, which he had been trying to remove from the storage unit, the detective wrote.
Missouri and Kansas court records don’t say how she died, and Rey provided conflicting information. In one statement to police, Rey said his wife committed suicide after giving birth. In other statements he just said that she died.
Rey’s attorney in the Kansas case, Courtney Henderson, has not returned a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment early Thursday. Rey doesn’t yet have an attorney in the Missouri case.
During a court appearance earlier this month, Rey was removed after a screaming rant against authorities.