Police were called to a storage facility in Lenexa, Missouri, Tuesday, Oct. 24 based on reports that people were sleeping inside a storage unit there.
What they found was Justin Rey, 35, with his 2-year-old toddler and 5-day-old baby, and the remains of a human, who could be Rey’s wife.
A witness told Fox 4 Problem Solvers that Rey showed up at a restaurant with his two daughters and said that he was waiting on money from the military so that he could go back to Arizona where he was from. He also told the witness and his wife that Jessica Monteiro Rey, Justin Rey’s wife, had recently died in childbirth.
The witness said he felt sorry for him and for the girls, who the witness said did not look well, and offered to take him to the train station. Before heading to the station, they went to pick up Rey’s stuff at a storage facility.
There, the witness saw Rey bring out a bottle of urine and a cooler that was oozing brown liquid.
“I wasn’t smelling anything foreign or foul, but I wondered,” the witness told Fox 4. “My mind was racing about what’s in these containers.”
Before they left, police showed up, and they took Rey into custody after finding no diapers or food for the children. He was later charged with two counts of child endangerment and two counts of contributing to a child’s misconduct.
Rey first told police that his wife died in childbirth, then later that she committed suicide, KCTV reports.
The last time she was seen alive was at WoodSpring Suites in Kansas City on Oct, 20. Three days later, Justin Rey checked out of the room carrying a similar cooler, KCTV reports.
Later, police found human remains in the cooler.
“I can say they were remains … such that they were not readily identifiable sex, age, race,” Danny Chavez, a Lenexa police spokesman told KCTV.
Police are waiting to announce the identity of the remains till an autopsy is completed. However, local media reported that the family was told by police that the remains belonged to Monteiro Rey.
Speaking from California, Monterio Rey’s family said they are trying to wrap their heads around the news.
“Jessica didn’t see any negative in the world all her life, she just couldn’t see it,” her sister Sara Monteiro told Fox 4. “She was always happy and friendly, no matter what. She was a great big sister; more like a mom and best friend.
“She was always loving and caring, and she knew what family meant.”
Rey is due back in court on Nov. 2.