A missing Missouri father and his two young sons have been found dead in a rural area, four days after the man left home armed with a gun with no apparent plan to return.
The bodies of Darrell Peak, 40, three-year-old Mayson Peak and four-year-old Kaiden Peak were discovered on Monday evening inside an abandoned structure at US 65 near Route T in Benton County.
No causes or manners of death have been released as of Tuesday.
Darrell Peak, 40 (left), and his sons, Kaiden, 3, and Mayson, 4 (far right), were found dead in rural Benton County, Missouri, four days after leaving their home
The bodies were found inside this structure on US 65 north of Warsaw, Missouri, on Monday
The bodies were found not far from where the Peak family were approached by a state trooper last Thursday but refused assistance, according to a statement from the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
The trooper’s encounter with the father and sons had taken place 16 hours before they were officially reported missing.
Sheriff’s detectives were said to have made several attempts to have an Amber Alert issued for the children but the case had not met the necessary criteria.
The incident began unfolding at around 4pm on Thursday, when Darrell left home along with his sons. He was said to be armed with a pistol he was known to regularly carry.
Mayson and Kaiden’s mother, Bonnie Peak, told Fox 2 Now prior to the tragic discovery on Monday that Darrell was ‘angry’ when he took off, but claimed that it was out of character for him to leave with the children and not come back.
Prior to the discovery, the boys’ mother, Bonnie Peak (left), said that she was convinced Darrell would not harm his children ‘in a million years.’ She said Darrell was ‘angry’ when he left home with the boys on Thursday
Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that Peak (pictured with son Kaiden) suffered from depression and had made suicidal statements in the past
‘I don’t think for one second that he would physically harm our children, ever, in a million year [sic],’ the mother said. ‘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.’
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that Peak suffered from depression and had made suicidal statements in the past.
At around 5.30pm on Thursday, a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper stopped along US 65 to assist Peak with his disabled vehicle.
According to the trooper, the children were with Peak and appeared to be fine at the time, and the father declined help.
Less than 30 minutes later, a Benton County deputy spotted who she believed to be Peak and his children traveling on foot along US 65. She turned around to check on them, but they were gone.
Then at around 7pm that day, a 911 call had come in about a man and two small children walking along State Highway 65. Troopers checked the area but did not find the family.
Kaiden, 3, and Mayson, 4, were last seen by a state trooper with their father on Thursday evening. The trooper said the children seemed ‘fine’
Peak was charged with two counts of parental kidnapping on Sunday, a day before he and his sons were found dead
At around 10.30am on Friday, Peak’s family contacted the authorities and filed a missing person report.
Later that day, a statewide ‘be on the lookout’ alert was issued for the missing father and sons.
Just before 3pm, Peak’s car was found abandoned along US 65 north of Warsaw, where less than 24 hours prior a
Despite the family’s belief that Peak would not harm his children, on Sunday Greene County’s prosecutor charged Peak with two counts of parental kidnapping, hoping that it would generate additional tips and leads.