SANDY, Utah (ABC4) – The man arrested for the murder of 53-year-old Masako Kenley allegedly tried to keep police from locating her body and belongings, according to court documents.
On Saturday, July 3, Kenley was reported missing after she never arrived to have dinner with friends in Layton the night before. Police later located her vehicle near the Sandy Costco.
Days later, authorities and cadaver dogs were able to find Kenley’s body in a heavily wooded area of 8900 S and 1000 W near the Jordan River. While an autopsy report is still pending, investigators report finding a gunshot wound in Kenley’s chest.
Through their investigation, police say they determined 75-year-old William O’Reilly and Kenley had been together in the afternoon hours on Friday. O’Reilly and Kenley have been described as acquaintances by police.
According to the probable cause statement, during an interview with investigators, O’Reilly admitted to turning off Kenley’s cellphone, which had a last reported location near 8900 South and 1000 West.
O’Reilly allegedly told investigators he and Kenley had been in the Salt Lake City area, miles from where Kenley’s body had been located. Investigators determined this was false, explaining in the probable cause statement that the Call Detail Records of Kenley’s phone show they were not near that area.
O’Reilly is also accused of removing a GPS tracking device from Kenley’s vehicle, which was later found concealed in his vehicle. Investigators say they also found Kenley’s purse and one of her shoes in O’Reilly’s vehicle.
According to authorities, O’Reilly admitted to placing these items in his vehicle.
O’Reilly was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Monday on suspicion of aggravated murder, abuse or desecration of a dead human body, and obstruction of justice. Formal charges from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office have not yet been filed.
“At this point, the detectives have a lot of work ahead of them to establish and verify a lot of the speculation information regarding the relationship between Mrs. Kenley and Mr. O’Reilly to see if there is any basis to the rumors out there,” Lt. Dean Carriger with Sandy Police tells ABC4. He adds that the rumors that O’Reilly was stalking Kenley have not been confirmed.
ABC4 News reached out to Kenley’s family who has asked for privacy at this time. However, her son did say his mother was a kind and spunky woman, who cared about everyone she met.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the family. The account reports Kenley leaves behind a husband and four children.