A father of two said he spent eight hours cutting his wife's body after she died in a Missouri hotel because she feared the authorities would take her children.
Justin Rey, 36, told a judge on Tuesday that protecting his family was the reason he did not ask for medical help after Jessica Rey gave birth to a baby at the hotel in October, or later when she he committed suicide
Investigators later found Rey with his newborn daughter and his two-year-old daughter, along with bags of body parts, in a storage shed in Lenexa, Kansas.
A detective said he skinned his wife's body, had his children pose for pictures with him, and then dyed some body parts down the toilet.
Justin Rey, 36 (to the left, in a police photo) told a judge on Tuesday that protecting his family was the reason he did not ask for medical help after Jessica Rey (right, undated photo) He will deliver a baby to the hotel in October, or later when she committed suicide.
Rey was not charged in the death of his wife, but faces charges of endangering children in Kansas and Missouri and is accused of abandoning a body in Missouri, the Kansas City Star reported.
He took the unusual step of testifying at his preliminary hearing in Kansas, with defense attorney Zane Todd saying that Rey wanted to correct the testimony of some witnesses.
After the hearing on Tuesday, a plea of innocence was presented to Rey to Johnson County, Kansas, on charges of two counts of endangering the aggravated child and two counts of contributing to a child's misconduct.
"It's something I had to do," Rey testified. "My family is very dear to me, it's something I had to do to protect my family."
Rey took the unusual step of testifying at his preliminary hearing in Kansas, with defense attorney Zane Todd saying that Rey wanted to correct the testimony of some witnesses.
An officer who met with Rey at the storage unit said the 2-year-old girl looked unhealthy and "almost looked like she had cancer."
According to several witnesses, the baby had a serious infection in the eyes. The children were placed in protective custody.
Rey has said in the past that his wife died in childbirth, but Lenexa police detective Shannon Murphy testified that Rey told him that his wife had committed suicide.
After her children posed to take pictures with her body, Rey said she was skinned like a fish, Murphy testified. Murphy said that Rey reddened body parts that did not fit in containers in the toilet.
Deputy Johnson County Coroner Charles Glenn testified that & # 39; several & # 39; Injuries were found in some parts of Jessica Rey's body, but it was not possible to determine if the injuries were inflicted before or after her death.
King (left and right, in court in 2017) has said in the past that his wife died in childbirth, but Lenexa police detective Shannon Murphy testified that Rey told him his wife had committed suicide
Rey told the court that he and the children had not been living in the locker, as the witnesses said, but had been there for about 11 hours as they prepared to travel to Arizona, where he said he intended to give his wife a proper burial. .
He also said that his children were well cared for. "I did not risk my children," he testified. "My children were perfectly healthy."
Rey also denied having thrown anything other than a placenta into the toilet. His trial on Kansas charges was scheduled for November 5.
If you or someone you know needs to speak, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).