LENEXA, Kan. — An investigation into a man found sleeping with his two children in a Kansas storage unit has led to the discovery of a body in a cooler, police and court records say.
Justin Rey, 35, is jailed on $1 million bond in Johnson County, Kansas, on two counts each of aggravated child endangerment and contributing to a child’s misconduct. No attorney is listed for him in online court records. The remains haven’t been officially identified, and no charges related to the death have been filed.
Police say the remains were discovered Oct. 24 at a U-Haul Moving and Storage facility in the Kansas City suburb of Lenexa after officers were sent to check on the welfare of two small children. Lenexa police officer Danny Chavez said the public offense report showed the children had no food, diapers or place to sleep. Chavez said Rey had been sleeping at the facility with the children before he was arrested.
It’s not clear how long the person had been dead or where the person died. Chavez referred additional questions to Kansas City, Missouri, police, who acknowledged an investigation but wouldn’t give details.
A Jackson County, Missouri, search warrant that KCTV obtained says a man taken into custody at the storage facility told authorities his wife killed herself after giving birth to their newborn and that the woman’s remains were inside a cooler.
According to the warrant, the man, his pregnant wife and a 2-year-old child checked into a Kansas City, Missouri, hotel in September. The warrant says the man 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 the man pulling a red cooler with a black bag on top through the hotel, while pushing a stroller with a toddler walking beside him.
“We have more questions right now than answers,” Kansas City, Missouri, police spokeswoman Kari Thompson said. “We want to go by facts. At this time we are in a hold pattern.”
She said the department is awaiting a report from the Jackson County, Missouri, medical examiner to determine the identification of the person found dead and the cause of death. Thompson said she couldn’t comment on the condition of the remains.
Rhonda Monteiro told KSHB-TV that police called last week to confirm the remains found in the storage unit were those of her sister, Jessica Monteiro Rey, who was married to Justin Rey.
“It was too soon. Way too soon. She was in her early 30s,” Rhonda Monteiro said.