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South Jordan man charged with brutally killing Sandy woman

A 75-year-old South Jordan man was charged Friday with murdering a Sandy woman and dumping her body in a secluded area near the Jordan River.

A 75-year-old South Jordan man was charged Friday with murdering a Sandy woman and dumping her body in a secluded area near the Jordan River. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SANDY — A 75-year-old man was charged Monday with brutally killing a Sandy woman and could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

William Richard O'Reilly, of South Jordan, is charged in 3rd District Court with murder and discharge of a firearm causing serious injury, both first-degree felonies; and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.

O'Reilly both shot and stabbed Masako Yamada Kenley, 53, multiple times and dumped her body near the Jordan River "in an area that is completely uninhabited and secluded and covered in vegetation that made it extremely difficult to locate her body," according to charging documents. Cadaver dogs were used to find Kenley's body near 8900 South and 1000 West.

Prosecutors noted that O'Reilly claims he is a military veteran, "and the way in which Masako was killed appears consistent with someone having military experience."

O'Reilly had also placed a GPS tracking device on Kenley's vehicle, court documents state.

On July 2, Kenley left her house to meet co-workers for dinner, but she never made it there. Her husband reported her missing on July 3.

Police learned that Kenley was acquainted with O'Reilly, a former co-worker, and using phone records and surveillance video, detectives discovered the two were together on the afternoon of July 2, the charges state.

After her body was found, an autopsy determined that Kenley had been shot twice and stabbed four times. All of her injuries were to her neck and chest areas, according to the charges.

Sandy police found O'Reilly early on July 5 at a local hospital.

"He overdosed in an apparent attempt to commit suicide and was placed in a locked down behavioral facility," a police booking affidavit states.

When police interviewed O'Reilly, he said he had placed a GPS tracking device on Kenley's vehicle and that she had gotten upset with him on July 2 and told him, "they were done and to take the GPS tracker off her vehicle," the charges say.

When detectives asked what had happened at the river bottoms area where Kenley's body was found, O'Reilly "stated that he could not remember what happened."

During a search of O'Reilly's car, police reported finding clothing that appeared to have blood on it, ammunition, a knife, a GPS tracking device, Kenley's purse and one of her sandals.

Prosecutors have requested O'Reilly be held in the Salt Lake County Jail without bail, noting "the brutal way" that Kenley was killed. They also believe he attempted suicide "because he had embarrassed his family by having police vehicles parked in front of his home and the neighbors could see that," the charges state.

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