2:09 PM PDT, July 8, 2021
The missing woman from Sandy, Utah was found and believed to have been murdered by an “acquaintance” from her job at USPS, according to police.
Masako Yamada Kenley, 53, left to meet friends for dinner on July 2, but her family said that she never made it there.
Her body was found on July 4 by cadaver dogs in a ditch along the Jordan River with a gunshot wound to the chest, officials said.
Court documents obtained by KSL-TV reportedly said that police utilized cell phone data and surveillance videos to confirm that Kenley and her former colleague, William O’Reilly, 75, had been together the day she went missing.
Tracy Collar was also an employee of USPS, and had known Kenley for almost two decades.
“The weirdness came in after he officially retired from the post office, and he would drive from his house to Masako’s house to deliver fresh eggs,” Collar told 2KUTV.
According to Collar, what Kenley initially thought was innocent turned into O’Reilly following and threatening the mother of four.
“I was there; I witnessed the whole thing. Lots of stuff happened and so it was very creepy. And very not normal,” Collar said to the local outlet.
Police said O’Reilly admitted to turning off Kenley’s phone and taking a GPS tracking device, a shoe, and her purse from her vehicle before placing it in his own, according to reports.
O’Reilly was taken into custody and was entered into a behavioral health unit for an apparent attempted suicide before being taken to Salt Lake County Jail, where police requested he be held without bail.
O’Reilly is under investigation for aggravated murder, obstructing justice, and abuse or desecration of a human body, KSL-TV reported.
The outlet also reported that the USPS said it “extends its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of long-time postal family member Masako Kenley.”
A GoFundMe page was created to aid in funeral expenses and travel fees for Kenley’s family in Japan. The fundraiser has currently raised more than $74,000 of its total goal of $100,000.
“Masako will be missed by her husband (Bill), her four children (Micah, Julian, Sean, & Paige) and all those who had the pleasure to meet her,” the fundraising page reads.