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Child sexual assault victim hailed as ‘unmitigated hero’ after turning in abusers for killing and dismembering woman photographed with ‘hands tied, naked and gagged’

Michael Hendricks and Maggie Ybarra (Jackson County Sheriff's Office); Authorities excavating site where victim's remains were found (Fox4KC screenshot)

Michael Hendricks and Maggie Ybarra (Jackson County Sheriff’s Office); Authorities excavating site where victim’s remains were found (Fox4KC screenshot)

A 40-year-old Missouri man and his 30-year-old girlfriend were convicted of killing a 32-year-old woman whose dismembered remains were found in the backyard of the couple’s home after a young girl they sexually abused was brave enough to come forward and tell her grisly story. A Jackson County jury late Thursday convicted Michael Hendricks and Maggie Ybarra in the murder of Kensie Aubry, authorities announced.

Hendricks was found guilty on one count each of first-degree murder, first-degree harassment, attempted enticement of a child, third-degree child molestation and first-degree sexual misconduct. Ybarra was found guilty on one count each of second-degree murder, attempted enticement of a child, first-degree sexual misconduct, and attempted tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution. She was also convicted on three counts of attempted tampering with a victim in a felony prosecution.

Hendricks waived sentencing after the jury returned the guilty verdict. He will have a formal sentencing hearing at a later date but a conviction of first-degree murder requires that he be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Aubry, of Kansas City, Missouri mysteriously disappeared in October 2020 and was reported missing by her family. Her dismembered body was discovered in July 2020 in the yard of a home owned by Hendricks in the 4000 block of South Buckner-Tarsney Road.

According to a press release from the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, authorities first learned about Aubry’s slaying after a then-13-year-old girl in April 2021 came forward and reported Hendricks and Ybarra. The child claimed that Hendricks had molested her and made attempts to entice her into having three-way sex with him and Ybarra.

But that’s not nearly where the young victim’s story stopped, as the information she gave authorities eventually led investigators to the property near Grain Valley, Missouri, where Aubry’s mutilated corpse was discovered.

The victim told police that Hendricks and Ybarra boasted of their violence against Aubry and even showed her photographic proof.

“Maggie showed her photographs on a cellphone of a female with her hands tied, naked and gagged,” a detective with the Independence Police Department wrote in an affidavit of probable cause.

That macabre show of trust on Ybarra’s part can likely be traced back to the now-convicted killer previously serving as the foster mother of the victim. However, her guardianship was reportedly revoked after Ybarra went on to allow multiple sexual partners to abuse the girl when she was younger.

The victim told authorities that Hendricks, Ybarra and Aubry “were all sleeping together and Ybarra said that Hendricks ‘choked [Aubry] to death’ and put her in the freezer.”

That method of death tracked previous statements Hendricks had allegedly made in the girl’s presence. For example, Hendricks had previously stated that “it turned him on when people die,” while watching a horror movie with the victim and Ybarra. After that movie, the girl told law enforcement, she was asked to have sex with the couple and that Hendricks went on to molest her.

The child victim went on to tell authorities that Hendricks admitted to cutting Aubry’s body into pieces with a chainsaw in order to surreptitiously dispose of the woman’s remains.

“I am grateful for a brave child who came forward to tell law enforcement what occurred, who endured, who testified, and who can only be described as an unmitigated hero,” County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement. Baker had previously said that without the victim’s “bravery,” authorities “might not know Kensie Aubry’s fate.”

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.