Justin Rey was no stranger to Lenexa police before allegedly dismembering wife

Posted: 5:53 PM, Mar 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-09 00:26:13Z

OLATHE, Kan. -- Justin Rey, charged with abandoning a corpse and endangering his kids' safety, appeared in Johnson County court Thursday morning. 

A long waiting list at Larned State Hospital is preventing Rey from going to trial. 

In December, a judge said Rey is not fit to stand trial and ordered a 90-day mental evaluation. He still hasn't gotten one. The state plans to transfer him in the next two weeks. 

"This is illegal, all of this," Rey said as he was led out of the courtroom.  

Rey is accused of dismembering his wife, Jessica Rey, in late October. According to police, he put her remains in a cooler then took it, along with their newborn and toddler, to a Lenexa storage unit. They spent the night there, and Rey was arrested the next day. 

41 Action News spoke with several people who came into contact with the Reys while they were in Kansas City. They said the family was homeless and Jessica was pregnant at the time. Each person said Rey was controlling and Jessica was often fearful of him. 

Police reports obtained by 41 Action News from August to mid-October 2017 show Rey was no stranger to the Lenexa Police Department. 

A pastor at Central Church of the Nazarene in Lenexa reported Rey several times. The family had gone there for assistance, but in September the church banned Rey from the property because they were concerned about his erratic behavior and his mental state. 

In early October, the pastor reported Rey for threatening text messages. The pastor said he was in fear for his and his family's safety and told his wife to make sure the doors at home were locked. Olathe police officers watched the pastor's home for a few days. 

Lenexa police also came into contact with Rey in August at an extended stay hotel only two miles from the storage unit facility. A woman claimed Rey hit her vehicle with a U-Haul truck. 

41 Action News talked to a woman who knew the couple and feared for Jessica's safety. 

"If I could have got her off to a resource in the metropolitan area, I think she'd still be here," the woman ,who wants to be known as "Rachel," said.

Rachel said she tried to help Jessica after they met in a Lenexa fast-food bathroom in early 2017. 

"She was bawling her eyes out and I panic and I'm like, 'Do you need help? Do you need me to call the police?' She's like, 'Please don't call police. Is there a man outside the door?' And I was like, 'Well, yeah there was some guy out there. He kinda looked angry,'" Rachel said. 

That man, Rachel said, was Justin Rey. 

She said the two stayed in contact over the next several months and developed a friendship. 

"I was kind of leaning her toward going to a women's shelter. She was like, 'I think it's not safe. If I do it he's going to come after me. He's going to hurt me,'" Rachel continued. 

Rachel said her heart sank when she found out what happened to Jessica. 

"Her poor babies will never know her. She was a beautiful person. She had a heart of gold," Rachel said. 

Jessica's family in California is in the process of gaining custody of the two children. 

Rey is scheduled to appear in court at 10 a.m. on May 10. 


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