Court documents reveal new details in death of Sandy woman Masako Kenley, murder arrest of acquaintance

Masako Kenley. Photo: Sandy City Police Department

SANDY, Utah, July 6, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Newly released court documents reveal more details on the death of Sandy resident Masako Kenley, and the arrest of her acquaintance and alleged shooter, William Richard O’Reilly.

An affidavit filed by an officer of the Sandy Police Department says Kenley, 53 and the married mother of four, was first reported missing by her family on Saturday, July 3.

“Through the investigation, detectives learned that Masako was acquainted with a male named William O’Reilly,” the statement says. “Through Call Detail Records (CDR) and video surveillance, investigators were able to ascertain that William and Masako were together in the afternoon hours of July 2, 2021.”

One of the last CDR-reported locations of Kenley’s phone was on Friday in the area of 8900 South and 1000 West, in a heavily wooded area, the statement says.

“Utah State cadaver dogs were used, and through them, the body of Masako Kenley was located,” the police statement says. “Local business surveillance also show Masako’s white van pulling into that area in the afternoon of July 2nd, then leaving 20 minutes later.

“Masako’s body was discovered in a ditch in a secluded area of phragmite and tall grasses. The body was concealed beneath heavy layers of the grasses and foliage. The Office of the Medical Examiner responded and identified a gunshot wound to Masako’s chest.”

An official cause-of-death report has not yet been released.

“In an interview, William O’Reilly admitted to turning off Masako’s phone,” says the probable cause statement filed on O’Reilly, 75. “The phone was disabled after it had been in the area of 8900 S 1000 W. William 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. CDR data showed this was false and contrary to where the phones had actually been.”

The police statement says O’Reilly “had also removed a GPS tracking device from Masako’s van which he concealed in his personal vehicle. Also concealed in his personal vehicle were Masako’s purse and only one of her shoes. William admitted to investigators he had placed the above items in the trunk of his vehicle.”

O’Reilly was taken into custody by Sandy Police detectives in the early morning hours of July 5 at the Salt Lake Regional Hospital. The statement says he was admitted after a drug overdose.

“He overdosed in an apparent attempt to commit suicide and was placed in a locked down behavioral facility,” the officer’s statement says.

O’Reilly was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony; and abuse or desecration of a human body, a third-degree felony.

The arresting officer suggested O’Reilly be held without bail due to the seriousness of the charges, the evidence, and facts that he could pose dangers to others in the community or flee.

“O’Reilly has already attempted to cover up evidence in this case and it is believed that he will do so this again if he were to be released,” the statement says.

A judge did order O’Reilly be held without bail.

Police have not yet confirmed how Kenley and O’Reilly knew each other. Jill Jensen, Masako’s supervisor at the Redwood Road and 2100 South branch of the U.S. Post Office, told Gephardt Daily that Kenley and O’Reilly had worked at the same mail facility years earlier, and that O’Reilly had reportedly been obsessed with the victim.

Click here to view a funeral fundraising account set up for Kenley’s family.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here