SANDY, Utah — The body of Masako Kenley, a missing 53-year-old woman from Sandy was located on Sunday night and police are calling it a homicide. One man has been taken into custody, but investigators are not releasing details of a possible motive, yet.
William O’Reilly has been booked into the Slat Lake County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, desecration of a body and obstruction of justice. Investigators say Kenley and O’Reilly knew each other, but they’re not releasing the nature of their relationship.
Sandy Police Lt. Dean Carriger says, “He was an acquaintance of Masako’s, so this was not an abduction.”
Kenley was last seen Friday afternoon in Midvale. Carriger says they relied heavily on tracking electronics to find her.
“[It led us] first of all to an area of Midvale, 7100 South and 700 East, where we were able to observe her on a surveillance camera video traveling through the area in her vehicle.”
That car was later found in a parking lot near Auto Mall Drive in Sandy. Carriger says they were able to track Kenley’s location to an area near 8900 South and 700 West.
“They were able to track a location by the Jordan River, where we conducted our search,” he says.
Search dogs eventually found Kenley’s body Sunday evening. Carriger says the dogs were able to spot her when other methods couldn’t.
“Sometimes, we utilize drone technology down there, but the thickness of the brush and trees inhibited them,” according to Carriger.
#Breaking: “It’s w/ a heavy heart we must report #MasakoKenley has been found deceased along Jordan River near 8900 S 700 E. Rocky Mtn Rescue Dogs,Inc. assisted w/ search which was pivotal in locating Mrs. Kenley due to thick brush & heavily wooded area.” @Sandy_Police @KSL5TV 💔 pic.twitter.com/IutYmOHLAl
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) July 5, 2021
KSLTV reports that Kenley’s friends say she left her home on Friday around 4 pm to meet friends for dinner in Layton and never arrived.
Sandy Police are calling Masako Kenley’s death a homicide, and they’ve arrested an acquaintance of hers, William O’Reilly. pic.twitter.com/rjYMgqGsnB
— Paul Nelson (@KSLPaul) July 5, 2021
Investigators say they’re still at the very beginning of their investigation, so there are many details they’re still trying to find out. For instance, who left Kenley’s car in that Sandy parking lot, and was she killed by the river, or was her body dumped there?
Her husband, Bill Kenley, issued a statement thanking people who tried to find her. It reads…
I want to express my deep gratitude to the police and to the countless volunteers for their help in finding Masako. We are overwhelmed at the number of people who have helped us during this difficult time. Your prayers and support have meant the world to my family and me. Losing Masako is devastating, but we feel blessed to have had her in our lives for as long as we did. We will never forget your kindness, generosity, and love.
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