A Missouri father killed his two young sons and then himself in a murder-suicide, authorities announced this week.
On the morning of Feb. 26, loved ones reported Darrell Peak, 40, missing and told Green County Sheriff’s Office deputies that they last saw Peak driving away from the family home with his boys, Mayson, 3, and Kaiden, 4, around 4 p.m. the prior day.
According to a GCSO news release, the dad was “armed with the pistol he was known to regularly carry.”
While family reported Peak had “a history of depression,” they “insisted he would never harm his children,” deputies said.
On Feb. 24, the day before he was last seen alive, Peak told other patrons at a casino in Oklahoma he was taking money out of an ATM in order to begin a new life with his two sons, Springfield radio station KTTS reported.
The next night at around 5:30 p.m., a Missouri State trooper stopped to assist Peak on the side of State Highway 65 near Warsaw. “According to the trooper, the children were with Darrell and appeared to be fine. Darrell declined any assistance,” a news release states.
A short time later, Missouri State Highway Patrol received a 911 call about a man and two small children walking on the highway. A deputy also later observed the trio “who she believed to be Darrell and the children walking up 65 Highway north of the vehicle,” according to the news release, but “when she turned around to check on them, they were unable to be located.”
On March 1, four days after Peak disappeared with his kids, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office announced “a very tragic ending” to the missing persons investigation.
“This evening, the three were discovered deceased in Benton County, not far from where they were last observed and contacted by law enforcement in the Warsaw area,” GCSO said, noting the father and sons’ bodies “were found together inside a structure.”
Law enforcement officials have not released a cause of death, but ruled the manner to be a murder-suicide.