BOONVILLE, Mo. – Authorities have determined that a South Dakota driver who was found dead after a crash on Interstate 70 in central Missouri was fatally shot. The Missouri State Highway Patrol announced Wednesday the cause of death for 40-year-old Melissa Peskey, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Peskey and her two children, 5-year-old Axton and 11-year-old Charlee were the car crash in Missouri sometime between Thursday night and early Friday morning. The children survived. The crash happened by Boonville, which is between Kansas City and St. Louis.
The patrol says Peskey was found dead in the driver’s seat at 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 in Missouri’s Cooper County. An autopsy was conducted this week. The patrol says it indicates that she was killed by a weapon that was fired outside her vehicle.
The patrol says the investigation is ongoing. The release didn’t say whether anyone had been arrested, and a patrol spokesman didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment. A reporter from KELO-TV spoke with her husband. Investigators have informed him he is a “person of interest” in his wife’s death. This does not mean he is a suspect.
The couple’s two children are in foster care in Missouri. They were put there because they don’t have family in Missouri. Her husband says he will go before a judge Wednesday to ask to bring their children, and his wife’s body home.