Man Arrested In Connection To Sandy Woman’s Death
Jul 5, 2021, 12:41 PM | Updated: Jul 6, 2021, 2:38 pm
SANDY, Utah — A 75-year-old man has been arrested after the body of a missing Sandy woman was found late Sunday night.
Police said they are calling Masako Kenley’s death a homicide and William O’Reilly, an acquaintance of Kenley’s, has been arrested.
“Mr. O’Reilly was an acquaintance of Masako, so we do want to put the community at ease that this was not a random abduction or anything of that nature,” said Lt. Dean Carriger with the Sandy Police Department. “There’s no danger to the public at this point. These are two individuals that did know each other.”
O’Reilly was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on felony charges of aggravated murder, desecration of a corpse and obstruction of justice.
Sandy PD have arrested a man in connection with Masako Kenley’s death. William O’Reilly, 75, is facing charges of aggravated murder, desecration of a corpse and obstruction of justice. Police say he and Kenley were acquaintances, but are not releasing a cause of death yet. #KSLTV
— Tania Dean (@taniadeanksl) July 5, 2021
Kenley was reported missing over the weekend after she failed to meet up with friends for dinner on Friday.
Family friend Adam Clayton said they tracked down surveillance footage showing Kenley’s van arriving at the Sandy Costco at 8:18 a.m. on Saturday.
“But they couldn’t see who got out of the car, so we don’t know if it was dumped there or if she parked it there,” Clayton said. “We really don’t know details.”
Hundreds of volunteers began searching for Kenley, along with family members, on Sunday.
Police said her body was located by cadaver dogs in a ditch in a secluded area of phragmites and tall grasses along the Jordan River near 8900 South and 700 West Sunday night.
According to a probable cause statement released Tuesday, data from Kenley’s cell phone led authorities to the area. Police obtained surveillance video from a local business that showed Kenley’s van pulling into the area Friday afternoon, then leaving 20 minutes later.
Authorities said they identified a gunshot wound to Kenley’s chest and an official cause of death will be established through an autopsy at a later time.
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) July 5, 2021
During their investigation, detectives said they determined Kenley and O’Reilly were together during the afternoon hours on Friday, July 2.
According to the probable cause statement, O’Reilly told police he turned Kenley’s phone off near the area where her body was found.
Detectives said O’Reilly “also told investigators he and Masako had been in the Salt Lake area, several miles to the north and miles from where the body had been located,” and cell phone data “showed this was false and contrary to where the phones had actually been.”
Police said O’Reilly removed a tracking device from Kenley’s van and hid it in his personal vehicle, along with one of her shoes and purse.
Kenley’s husband issued a statement Monday, saying, “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.”
A GoFundMe* account has been established for the family here.
*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.