Lenexa police made the discovery last week while checking out reports of someone living in one of the U-Haul units. While there, officers discovered human remains in several pieces inside a cooler.
Results of an autopsy are still pending, but family members told WDAF that the remains belong to Jessica Monteiro Rey, whose husband, Justin Rey, was living in a unit with the couple's toddler and 5-day-old baby, according to police.
An anonymous witness told WDAF that he and his wife met Justin Rey at a restaurant where Rey told them he’d lost his wife in childbirth and was trying to take his daughters home to Arizona. The witness said he agreed to take Rey to Union Station to catch a passenger train, first stopping at Rey’s storage unit to pick up what he needed for the trip.
That’s where the witness said he noticed Rey pulling a cooler that was leaking a trail of brown liquid. As they were leaving the U-Haul facility, Lenexa police showed up and took Rey into custody for child endangerment after officers said they found no food or diapers for the children.
Authorities haven’t said anything about the case or responded to questions from WDAF, but Jessica’s family said police told her parents, who live in California – in person and on the phone – that the remains belong to their daughter.
Jessica’s family isn’t sure if she died in childbirth, which is what her husband allegedly told the witness. They believe she gave birth at a motel in Missouri.
“Jessica didn’t see any negative in the world all her life, she just couldn’t see it," her sister Sara Monteiro said. "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.”
Justin Rey is due back in court next month.