From the witness stand this week, a Missouri man facing charges related to his wife’s death described horrid details of an act he said he committed to save what was left of his family.
According to the New York Post, 36-year-old Justin Rey told the court on Tuesday that his wife delivered their second child in a hotel room last year and committed suicide shortly thereafter.
In response, the defendant said he cut her body into pieces and packed them in large bags. He said he took the remains, along with the couple’s 2-year-old daughter and newborn baby, to a storage shelter in Lenexa, Kansas.
In addition to packing remains into bags, he allegedly flushed other body parts down the toilet.
Prosecutors in two states are pursuing criminal charges including child endangerment and abandonment of a corpse.
Police found the defendant and two children at the same Kansas storage shed. Reports indicate the children were visibly malnourished and unhealthy.
The older sibling “almost looked like she had cancer,” according to a police report, and witnesses indicated the baby had a serious eye infection.
Rey was in Kansas, where he faces counts of aggravated child endangerment and contributing to a child’s misconduct, for a preliminary hearing when he opened up.
He claimed he believed authorities would take his children from him if they discovered his wife’s body. According to Rey’s testimony, he spent eight hours dismembering her body before driving across the state line to dump her body.
‘It’s something I had to do,” he said. “My family is very dear to me. It’s something I had to do to protect my family.”
One detective testified that Rey went into detail about the process, telling her he “skinned [his wife] like a fish” after he posed his children for a final photo with their mother.
He claimed that he “didn’t endanger his children,” who he described as “perfectly healthy.”
Rey’s attorney later said he wished to correct some of his own witness’s testimony and Rey entered a plea of not guilty.
[Featured image: Justin Rey, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office]