Darrell Peak Springfield Missouri man and his two young sons found dead in murder suicide. Greene County father was embroiled in child custody case with estranged wife.
A Missouri father and his two young sons have died in a murder-suicide, Greene County authorities confirmed after discovering the bodies of the missing trio in an abandoned shack Monday evening.
The bodies of Darrell Peak, 40 and his two sons, Mayson Peak, 3, and Kaiden Peak, 4, were discovered inside the structure, not far from where they were last seen in Benton County on Thursday, WDAF-TV reported. It remained unclear how long the trio had been deceased and when they first arrived at the structure.
Line men working on nearby power lines came upon the bodies at about 4:20 p.m., according to the report.
Peak was last seen around 4 p.m. Thursday driving with the children near the family Springfield area home in Greene County, armed with the pistol he was known to regularly carry, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
‘When he left, he was angry,’ the children’s mother Bonnie Peak said via Fox2now. ‘Sometimes when he’s angry, he’ll take off and leave for a couple hours. This is so out of his character. Like He’s not one to just take off with the children.’
History of depression
Around 5:30 p.m, less than two hours after the father left with the couple’s two children a state trooper stopped to check on the father’s disabled vehicle, only for Peak to refuse assistance, according to authorities.
There were two other possible sightings of the father and sons that evening, but the deputies were unable to track them down, authorities said.
The next morning, relatives contacted Greene County Sheriff’s Office to file a missing persons report. They said that Darrell had a history of depression, but insisted that he would never harm his kids, according to police.
Detectives made several attempts to have an Amber Alert issued, but the 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.
On Tuesday, the Benton County Sheriff’s office confirmed the case was a murder-suicide, according to KY3. The deaths follow the father going through a separation with his wife, the children’s mother.
Investigators told the outlet, Peak informed Oklahoma casino employees Wednesday that he was taking money out of an ATM to start a new life with his children.
Reports told of Peak and his estranged wife embroiled in a child custody case.
‘I don’t think for one second that he would physically harm our children, ever, in a million year.’
‘All I can say is it’s just devastating,’ Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox told WDAF.
‘This isn’t something that you normally find. It’s not something that happens in Benton County.’
Posted the Benton County’s Sheriff Office on Facebook in part: ‘The Benton County Sheriff’s Office joins the family, community and all those involved, in mourning the senseless and tragic loss of life. The order of events is heartbreaking and I cannot begin to express the level of anger and sadness that is felt by myself and every member of our office. Our hearts and prayers go out to the mother and wife of the victims.’
Greene County’s prosecutor filed parental kidnapping charges against Peak on Monday, hours before the grim discovery in a hope that charges would elicit tips and information of the whereabouts of the children and the father.
Told the children’s mother days before the discovery of the three bodies: ‘I don’t think for one second that he would physically harm our children, ever, in a million year. He’s a very good dad and he’s a good person. I know he’s going through a lot lately and I don’t know if he’s just going through a mental breakdown. I think he wanted to leave on his own and I think the children just happened to be in the car when he got in my car and took off.’
Authorities have yet to say what necessarily motivated the father presumably shooting his two young sons then self dead.