"Skinned like a fish": Man admits to killing and flaying his wife, before flushing her body parts down the toilet
Justin Todd Rey appeared in court and confessed to not informing the police of his wife's suicide because of his desperation to keep his family together.
A man confessed to a court to 'skinning his wife like a fish' and chopping up her body parts after she killed herself because he was 'desperate to keep his family together.' Justin Todd Rey appeared before a judge at the Johnston County District Court in Kansas on Tuesday, testifying during the hearing.
According to the Kansas City Star, Rey's desperation meant he did not seek medical help after his wife, Jessica Monteiro, delivered a baby girl in a Kansas City hotel bathtub last fall, and did not inform the police when she killed herself shortly after. Instead, he reportedly spent eight hours hacking her body into pieces so he could take her corpse to Arizona along with his newborn and two-year-old daughter.
The 36-year-old's deed was discovered last October when Lenexa police were called to a storage facility to investigate a report suggesting someone was staying there with two small children. Upon reaching, they discovered several containers full of body parts, with Rey initially telling police that his wife was in Arizona before backtracking and confessing she committed suicide. He then said before the police confronted him, he was on his way to catch a train to Arizona, where he wanted to give his wife a proper ceremony.
Lenexa police detective Shannon Murphy testified that Rey made his children pose for photographs with their mother's body before then "skinning her like a fish." Body parts that could not fit in the containers were then flushed down the toilet, with deputy Johnson County Coroner Charles Glenn testifying that there were a number of stab wounds and incised wounds in parts he stored. However, he said it wasn't possible to tell if the injuries were inflicted before or after her death.
As for the children, officers said the older 2-year-old looked "pale, had bags under her eyes, and had thinning hair," with one testifying and suggesting she "almost looked like she had cancer." The baby is said to have been suffering from a serious eye infection as well, and both children were later taken into protective custody.
Rey was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated child endangerment and two counts of contributing to a child’s misconduct. He then testified during the preliminary hearing, telling the court that he and his children had been in the storage locker for just 11 hours before the police found them. He said he did not endanger his children and that they were "perfectly healthy."
The 36-year-old also denied flushing down his wife's body parts, confessing to flushing on the placenta and telling the court that the experience was "not fun." After the hearing, District Judge Brenda Cameron ruled there was enough evidence for the case to move to trial. Rey's lawyer has entered a plea of "not guilty" in his behalf and the trial is currently scheduled for November 5.