Couple faces first-degree murder charges in case of remains found in Grain Valley

Mike Genet
The Examiner

A Jackson County couple already facing several child sex-related charges has now been charged with killing a woman whose body was found last month on the property of one of the defendants. 

A grand jury indicted Michael Hendricks, 40, of Grain Valley, and 30-year-old Maggie Ybarra, of Grandview, for first-degree murder in the death of Kensie Aubry. 

Aubry, 32, and originally from Texas, had been reported missing in October 2020, and Independence and Grandview police had been investigating the case. Those agencies, along with the FBI and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, searched in and around Hendricks’ home at 4000 Buckner-Tarsney Road just north Grain Valley. A dig July 14 turned up human remains later identified as Aubry.  

Michael Hendricks of Grain Valley, left, and Maggie Ybarra have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kensie Aubry, whose remains were found at Hendricks' residence in Grain Valley.

According to court documents first filed in May, an underage foster child who is an alleged victim of Hendricks and Ybarra said Ybarra had shown the girl pictures of an unidentified woman “with her hands tied, naked and gagged” at Ybarra’s Grandview home. The victim said Ybarra’s boyfriend, Hendricks, had “killed the female and disposed of the body,” and that she knew the area where the body was. 

More:Police again search site where remains previously were found

At that point, Hendricks and Ybarra were each charged with two counts each of enticement or attempted enticement of a child less than 15 years old and first-degree sexual misconduct; third-degree molestation of a child less than 14; and four counts of tampering with evidence. 

In a release announcing the superseding indictment for the murder charge, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said the community greatly owes the child victim, “Who came forward and alerted police of the gruesome criminal activity detailed in these charges.  

"Without her bravery,” Baker said, “we might not know today Kensie Aubry’s fate." 

More:Police ID remains found near Grain Valley

Hendricks and Ybarra remained in jail from the charges in May, after a Jackson County judge denied bond reduction. 

Baker also noted the diligence of Independence and Grandview detectives, the FBI, the Kansas City police's career criminal unit and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office in the case. She noted, too, the work of two assistant prosecutors in the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office who worked with police from the first call related to this case many weeks ago.