OLATHE, Kan. – A man testified Tuesday that he spent about eight hours cutting his wife’s body after her death in a hotel in Missouri, because he was afraid that the authorities take away his children.
Justin Rey, 36, said the protection of his family was the reason that he is not to call for medical help after his wife gave birth to a baby in the hotel in October and then she killed herself, The Kansas City Star reported . Researchers later found Rey with his newborn and 2-year-old daughter, along with the bags of body parts, in a storeroom in the lenexa, Kansas.
Rey is not charged in the death of his wife, but faces child endangerment charges in Kansas and Missouri and is charged with abandonment of a corpse in Missouri. He took the unusual step of testifying at his preliminary hearing in Kansas, with attorney Zane Todd says Rey wanted to understand a number of testimonials. After Tuesday’s hearing, a not guilty plea was entered for Rey to Johnson County, Kansas, charges of two counts of increased child endangerment and two counts of contributing to a child’s misconduct.
“It is something I had to do,” Rey testified. “My family is very dear to me. It is something I had to do to protect my family.”
An officer who met Rey in the warehouse, said the 2-year-old appeared unhealthy and “almost looked like she had cancer.” The baby had a severe eye infection, on the basis of various witnesses. The children were in protective custody.
Rey has said in the past that his wife died in childbirth, but lenexa police detective Shannon Murphy testified that Rey told her that his wife has committed suicide. After he and his children pose for pictures with her body, Rey said he “skinned her like a fish,” Murphy testified. Murphy said Rey flushed parts of the body that would not fit in containers in the toilet.
Deputy Johnson County Coroner Charles Glenn testified that “a number of” stitch were wounds on some parts of Jessica Rey’s body, but that it was not possible to say whether the injuries were inflicted before or after her death.
Rey told the court that he and the children did not live in the storage locker, as witnesses said, but there were only about 11 hours and are preparing to travel to Arizona, where he said that he gives his wife a proper burial. He also said that his children were well taken care of.
“I didn’t endanger my children,” he declared. “My children were perfectly healthy.”
Rey also rejected flushing anything but a placenta in the toilet.
His trial at the Kansas charges is scheduled for November. 5.
Rey was also charged in November in California, in the death of Sean Ty Ferel, a Palm Springs resident who disappeared after the holidays with Rey in 2016. Ferel’s body still not found, but his blood was found in the trunk of his car after Rey was involved in an accident with the months after Ferel disappeared.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com