Benton County, Mo. Sheriff’s Office rules deaths of father, sons as a murder-suicide
WARSAW, Mo. (KY3) - Investigators with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office ruled the death of a Greene County father and his two children as a murder-suicide.
Darrell Peak and his two sons Mayson Peak, 3, and Kaiden Peak, 4, disappeared Thursday night. Investigators found their bodies in an area off of U.S. 65 near Warsaw Monday evening.
Greene County investigators say the search for a father and his two children became more concerning as time passed. Investigators presumed Peak had no plan to return to the Springfield area. Detectives made several attempts to have an Amber Alert issued, but this case did not meet the criteria. The Greene County Sheriff’s Office and Missouri State Highway Patrol issued an Endangered Person Advisory in the case as of 4:30 p.m. Friday.
According to the sheriff’s office, the children were last seen around 7 p.m. Thursday in Warsaw, Missouri. However, the missing person incident was reported around 10:30 a.m. Friday from a home in the 1200 block East FR 28 in Pleasant Hope. The sheriff’s office says a Benton County Deputy located Darrell Peak’s vehicle north of Warsaw, abandoned along U.S. Highway 65, around 8 p.m. Thursday. Authorities responded to the area after receiving a tip that two small children were walking along State Highway 65. While responding, a deputy observed who she believed to be Darrell and the children walking up the highway. When she turned around to check, no one was walking along the highway. Earlier Thursday evening, a Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper stopped to assist Peak on State Highway 65, also north of Warsaw, around 5:30 p.m. According to the trooper, the children were with Peak at the time and appeared to be fine, but their father also declined any assistance.
Darrell Peak suffered from depression and has made suicidal statements in the past, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Family members told authorities Peak’s behavior was out of character. Family members worked around the clock to try and find the three. A few of Peak’s other children quickly began a search in the Springfield area.
Investigators say Peak told employees at an Oklahoma casino Wednesday he was withdrawing money from an ATM to start a new life with his children.
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