PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — The 35-year-old man charged with allegedly dismembering and abandoning the corpse of his wife has been charged with murder in California.
The Palm Springs Police Department said Wednesday on Facebook that Justin Rey is a suspect for the murder of Palm Springs resident Sean Ty Ferel.
The department said Ferel was reported missing after he went on a vacation with Rey in 2016 but was overdue in returning home.
Friends and family said they had not seen or spoken to Ferel for more than two weeks. Friends of Ferel marked a change in the way he would respond to text messages, which led them to believe it wasn’t Ferel sending the messages.
Through the investigation, police determined several thousand dollars had been spent on Ferel’s credit cards. Surveillance video footage showed Rey using Ferel’s credit cards — at one point wearing a disguise — in a Walmart, a Walgreens and a Flying J gas station.
Several months later, police learned Rey had been in a crash in Ferel’s car in Los Angeles. Palm Springs police went to Los Angeles where they interviewed Rey about Ferel’s whereabouts.
Rey had Ferel’s phone and other property, police said. The department’s crime scene unit also found blood in Ferel’s trunk, which was later confirmed to be Ferel’s blood.
Police also issued a search warrant for a storage unit that was issued to Rey in Arizona, where they found several laptops, electronics, Ferel’s wallet, credit cards and other personal belongings.
Palm Springs police believe Rey murdered Ferel and illegally used his financial and personal information and belongings.
Ferel’s body has still not been found.
In Johnson County, Rey is accused of dismembering and abandoning the corpse of his wife. He has been charged with abandonment of a corpse and endangering the welfare of a child.
According to court records, police believe Rey’s children were in the Kansas City hotel room as he dismembered and disposed of their mother’s body. Jessica Rey’s body was found inside a cooler at a Lenexa storage facility on Oct. 24.
When he was arrested, police said Rey told them his wife delivered their baby in the bath tub of a hotel room near Interstate 70 and Stadium Drive, where they’d been staying since Sept. 25. He told them he used a plastic fastner and a shoe string to secure the umbilical cord. He told police she died after childbirth and he placed her in the bed and then took pictures with his wife and kids together. He says he spent two days with her body, Friday and Saturday, before dismembering her and then taking her body in the cooler to the storage facility in Lenexa.
Detectives say Rey admitted cutting up his wife Jessica in the bathtub and then putting her body parts in the cooler. What didn’t fit in the cooler, he said he flushed down the toilet or boiled in a pot on the stove.
Lenexa police were tipped off about Rey after the U-haul Storage Facility contacted them. They said he was suspiciously talking about his wife dying while giving birth to their newborn. When police found him at the storage facility, they say he told them his wife had died from suicide after giving birth.
‘The suspect spontaneously informed the officers his wife was inside the cooler and looked to the direction of a red and white Igloo style cooler with wheels,’ the probable cause statement said.
Two weeks ago, when Rey went before a judge in Johnson County, Kan., where he was charged with child endangerment for allegedly living with the children in the U-haul storage facility, Rey screamed out in court that his rights were being violated. Rey denied that he and his children were living in the storage unit. He also yelled that he is not mentally unstable.
Jackson County prosecutors requested a bond of $100,000 cash. Rey remains in custody in Johnson County.