(KANSAS CITY) — Preliminary autopsy results confirm that dismembered human remains found inside a suburban Kansas City storage unit are those of a woman whose husband was staying in the unit with their 4-day-old baby and 2-year-old child.
An arrest affidavit for Justin Rey, a 35-year-old homeless man, was released Tuesday. He’s jailed on $1 million bond in Johnson County, Kansas, on two counts each of aggravated child endangerment and contributing to a child’s misconduct or deprivation.
He’s not charged in the death of his wife, whom family identified as Jessica Monteiro Rey. The dismembered remains were discovered Oct. 24 inside a cooler and tote at a U-Haul Moving and Storage facility in Lenexa. Officers had been called to check on the welfare of two small children staying in a unit that was emitting a foul odor.
A Lenexa police detective wrote in the affidavit that responding officers spoke to a man who was pushing a stroller and had given Rey and his children a ride to the storage unit after finding them waiting for a bus near a Kansas City, Missouri, bar. Rey is homeless, and the man had seen people giving Rey money. Rey told U-Haul employees that he had stayed in the unit overnight and told the man that he and his children were planning to do so again, the affidavit says.
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 was trying to remove from the storage unit, the detective wrote.
The affidavit doesn’t say how she died, although a Jackson County, Missouri, search warrant says Rey told authorities that his wife had killed herself after giving birth.
According to the warrant, Rey, his pregnant wife and a 2-year-old child checked into a Kansas City, Missouri, hotel in September. The warrant says Rey called the front desk, disguised his voice as a woman’s and checked out on Oct. 23, according to hotel management. 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.
Rey’s attorney, Courtney Henderson, didn’t immediately return an email message from The Associated Press early Wednesday. During a court appearance earlier this month, Rey was removed after a screaming rant against authorities.