What happened to Masako Kenley?

Wasatch Front News

SANDY, Utah (ABC4) – Sandy City police officers are trying to piece together what led up to the disappearance of a local woman, who is now the victim of a homicide.

Masako Kenley, 53, was found dead late Sunday night near the Jordan River. Police said Kenley was last seen Friday afternoon (on surveillance camera) in the Midvale area and said the woman was on her way to have dinner with friends in Layton, but never showed up.

She was reported missing early Saturday morning, but Sandy police did not say who called it in.

Sunday, the community came together to help find Kenley. But search dogs ultimately found her remains, according to Lt. Dean Carriger, of the Sandy City Police Department.

“Sometimes we utilize drone technology down there, but the thickness of the brush and trees inhibited them, it just really cut down. Dogs have a great sense of smell and were able to help direct us to Masako,” Carriger said.

Located nearly five miles from where her body was found, Carriger said Kenley’s van sat empty in the Sandy Costco parking lot.

“They’re still working on specifics to confirm who put the van there in the parking lot,” he said.

Monday, investigators arrested 75-year-old William O’Reilly, of South Jordan, who is a suspect in the case.

“He was an acquaintance of Masako, so this was not an abduction,” Carriger said.

He continued to say there is no danger to the public.

O’Reilly has been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, Carriger said, on suspicion of aggravated murder, desecration of a corpse, and obstruction of justice.

“Our detectives did a lot of forensic work at the scene as well as through technology and electronic devices, which helped us narrow some of that information,” he said.

ABC4 News reached out to Kenley’s family who’s 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.

As more details from this investigation are made public, ABC4 News will share the latest details on-air and at abc4.com.

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