Man whose wife was found dead in storage unit charged with abandoning her body

Posted at 11:29 AM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 23:13:17-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The man whose wife was found in two ice coolers has been charged in connection with dismembering and abandoning her body. 

Justin Rey is accused of abandoning a corpse and endangering the welfare of a child.  

Court documents officially identified the remains as Jessica Monteiro Rey. 

Lenexa police officers went to the U-Haul storage units at 9250 Marshall Dr. on Oct. 24 to check on Rey and his two children, who were reportedly sleeping in a storage unit. During the investigation, Monteiro Rey's remains were found in the coolers.

According to court records, Rey was dragging several containers at the U-Haul facility when police spoke to him. Rey told officers his wife died after childbirth several days earlier, and her body was in the two containers.

The family had been staying at WoodSpring Suites on Leeds Road in Kansas City, Missouri since the end of September.

In the newly released documents, Rey claimed Monteiro Rey died after she had their baby in the hotel room's bathtub.

Prosecutors say he then propped her body on the bed and took pictures with her, the newborn, and toddler.

After two days passed, documents say Rey admitted he cut his wife's body up, putting the remains in two coolers. He says he tried to dispose of what wouldn't fit.

Rey told detectives his children were in the room as he dismembered their mother's body.

Records show Rey checked out of the hotel on Oct. 23.

From there, Rey allegedly carted the remains and the children to the storage facility and spent the night.

Monteiro Rey's family is hearing of the horrific developments from all the way in California. 

They believe Rey should be charged with more. 

"He neglected to try to help her to save her life, so either way he's responsible for her death," Sarah Monteiro said. 

Monteiro said it's heartbreaking to think her nieces were there when the brutal acts allegedly took place. 

"Knowing he dismembered her in front of his children, he just shouldn't ever be released from jail, on top of what he did to my sister," Monteiro said in a video chat with 41 Action News. 

Monteiro says Rey was extremely controlling and cut Monteiro Rey off from family. Attempts to convince her to leave him didn't work.

"Like I told my sister, 'He's dangerous. What if he kills you?' He's threatened to kill multiple family members. But she was just so afraid of him and she couldn't save herself, I suppose," Monteiro said.

Child protective services in California took the couple's four other children away. Monteiro believes Rey was trying to avoid authorities, and that's why he didn't take her sister to the hospital.

Now, the family is dealing with the tragic outcome. Monteiro says she's determined to get justice.

Rey, if convicted, could serve two to four years in prison for the abandonment charge, and two to seven years for the endangerment charge.

Prosecutors requested a bond of $100,000 cash. Rey is in custody in Johnson County, facing separate child endangerment charges there.

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said the case remains under investigation.