Justin Todd Rey is accused of murdering his wife, Jessica Rey, and Ty Ferel, a Palm Springs man that has been missing since May 2016.
In October, authorities found Justin and his two children inside a storage unit in Kansas with his wife’s dismembered body in an ice chest. A month later, Rey was charged for the murder of Ferel.
Ferel had gone on vacation with Rey in May 2016 and was never seen. According to the Palm Springs Police Department, Rey allegedly stole Ferel’s car, credit cards, and other property after killing him. Ferel’s car was eventually found in August 2016, when Rey crashed it in Los Angeles.
Police found Ferel’s blood inside the trunk, along with his driver’s license, credit cards and phone, but his body has not been located. More of Ferel’s property was later recovered inside a storage unit in Kingman, Arizona that was rented to Rey.
Local resident Pam Martin knew Justin and Jessica Rey, as well as Ferel. At one-time, Martin considered Justin Rey a friend, so when she heard the news on all three, she was in shock.
“Something like this doesn’t happen all of the time,” Martin said. “I couldn’t believe that I saw those names there and recognized this individual.”
Martin remembers first meeting Rey a few years ago on El Paseo looking for work to support his then-pregnant wife, Jessica.
“He was very kind, very kind. He was handsome, in the respect that he had very intense eyes. A very chiseled look,” Martin said.
Martin was even given a business card from Rey, listing occupations including sales, laborer, promoting expert, and an escort.
“He kind of had a big ego. I got the idea that he was very self-confident perhaps,” Martin said.
She also remembered an encounter with Jessica, when she was with Rey on El Paseo.
“She was sweet, smiled a lot. She was a gentle-spirited person,” Martin recalled.
Martin said that about two or three years passed by before she saw Rey again. This time, however, he was walking down El Paseo with a man, just days before Ferel was last seen.
“I said, ‘Oh, who’s your friend?’ and he said, ‘Oh, this is my dad,'” Martin said. “When Rey introduced this fellow as his dad, I picked up a little bit like a surprise from Ty, like, ‘oh, okay’ and then I said to Ty, ‘Hi, I’m Pam’ and he introduced himself to me as Ty. He seemed like a nice man.”
The whole situation is tough to process for Martin. She says she’s now praying for all the families moving forward.
“I wish I could just talk to him and say, ‘Dude. what were you thinking,” Martin said.
District Attorney’s office investigators told us last week that Rey needs to resolve his case in Kansas before he can come back to Riverside County to face charges in Ferel’s death.
Rey has not been charged in his wife’s death and it’s not clear where that case may be handled.