PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A man who was allegedly found living in a Kansas storage unit with his wife's dismembered remains in an ice chest was charged Wednesday with the unrelated killing of a Palm Springs man whose identity he later assumed.
Soon after Ferel disappeared, "several thousand dollars'' in charges were made using Ferel's credit cards, police said.
Text messages sent by loved ones to Ferel also led to responses that signified "a marked change in the way Ferel would respond,'' leading them to conclude someone else was sending the messages, according to Palm Springs Sgt. William Hutchinson.
Ferel's body has not been recovered, but police said they found his blood inside the trunk of his car, with Rey behind the wheel. Following an August 2016 car crash near Los Angeles, Rey was found with Ferel's car, cell phone and other property.
More of Ferel's property was recovered by police inside a Kingman, Arizona, storage unit rented to Rey. Hutchinson also said Rey was caught on surveillance footage at various businesses using Ferel's credit cards.
The alleged murder occurred more than a year before Rey made headlines in Lenexa, Kansas, where authorities allegedly found him and two of his children living inside a storage unit. Police say the remains of his wife, Jessica Monteiro Rey, were found inside an ice chest in the storage facility.
Authorities have not commented on her cause of death. Rey allegedly told police his wife died while giving birth inside a Kansas City hotel.
However, footage from a Johnson County court hearing shows Rey contending that his wife committed suicide and accusing authorities of kidnapping his children.
He made similar statements in videos on his Youtube channel, "Mr. Justin Rey CS,'' on which he details his beliefs that Child Protective Services in Indio and elsewhere removed the couple's children from their home illegally. He also accuses CPS of beating, sexually abusing and drugging children and in one video, claims the agency took the children away at gunpoint.
Rey is being held in Kansas' Johnson County on two counts each of aggravated child endangerment and contributing to a child's misconduct. A Riverside County judge approved a $1 million warrant for Rey's arrest on Wednesday. A Riverside County court date has not yet been set and authorities are working on extraditing him from Kansas.