Palm Springs Murder Suspect Found With Dismembered Wife Convicted in Kansas

Palm Springs Murder Suspect Found With Dismembered Wife Convicted in Kansas

Martín Di Felice

A man accused of killing a Palm Springs resident in 2016 — and who was found living with his children in a Kansas storage unit with his wife’s dismembered remains in an ice chest — was convicted Thursday in Kansas of child endangerment and other charges.

Justin Todd Rey, 36, was convicted of two counts of child endangerment, two counts of contributing to a child’s misconduct and three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, according to the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 27.

Rey, who has not been charged in connection with his wife’s death, is charged in Riverside County with the death of Sean Ty Ferel, who went missing in May 2016 after going on vacation with Rey. Palm Springs police contend Rey stole the victim’s car, credit cards and other property after killing him.

Rey crashed Ferel’s car in Los Angeles in August 2016 and made a failed attempt to flee from officers there, according to an arrest warrant declaration prepared by Palm Springs police Detective Mario Kasal.

Police found Ferel’s blood inside the trunk, along with his driver’s license, credit cards and phone, but his body was never found. More of Ferel’s property was recovered by police inside a Kingman, Arizona, storage unit rented to Rey, according to investigators.

Rey told police he dropped Ferel off at a home in Menifee in good condition, though the homeowners who lived there did not know Ferel and never saw him, according to the arrest warrant declaration. The last known sighting of Ferel, then 65, was on May 7, 2016.

While Ferel’s death was still under investigation, Rey was discovered in the Kansas storage unit with his children in October 2017. Rey allegedly contended initially that his wife died while giving birth at a Kansas City hotel, but he later said his wife committed suicide and he was planning to take her body to Arizona to be buried.

Rey was charged in November 2017 with Ferel’s killing. It was still unclear if and when he will be brought to Riverside County to stand trial.