Reward Offered for South Dakota Mom Found Shot to Death at Crash Scene

September 19, 2019 Updated: September 19, 2019

Nine months after mother-of-two Melissa Peskey’s death, her family is offering a reward in the hopes that they can finally discover who murdered her.

“It’s been nine months since Melissa was murdered,” the Missouri State Highway Patrol tweeted on Sept. 13, referring to her case.

It added, “Through fundraising efforts, her family & friends are now offering a $10,000 reward.

According to previous reports, she was driving on Interstate 70 near Booneville, Missouri, with her two children in Dec. 2018 when she was shot and killed, officials said.

Peskey, of South Dakota, was found shot and killed. Officials believe someone opened fire from outside the vehicle, and they also believe that’s how she died, not from the impact of the accident, reported KELO-TV at the time.

Her two children, ages 11 and 5, survived. They were in the vehicle with their mother during the incident, according to the report.

Her husband, Ryan Peskey, said last year that he was considered by police a “person of interest” in the case, he told the station. He recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan. Peskey said he’s being considered by authorities because he didn’t answer the phone when authorities called to inform him that his wife died. Ryan said he was sleeping when officials called him about her death, adding that she and the children were traveling to North Carolina to visit friends when she died.

Sgt. Scott White told KOMU that when the Highway Patrol arrived on the scene, they believed Peskey died due to a car accident.

“Based on the evidence at the scene, it didn’t appear that she had actually died in the crash,” White said. “Further investigation revealed that she had actually died of a gunshot wound, and that gunshot was fired from outside the vehicle.”

He said it definitely wasn’t an accident.

“This has not been an accident,” White said. “This was not an accidental shooting where someone was hunting and accidently shot across the interstate.”

Peskey’s sister Kara Renken told the news outlet that someone out there knows what happened on that night in December.

“She wasn’t alone on the road that night,” Renken said. “Someone knows something.”

White added that he hopes the $10,000 will provide an incentive for someone to speak out.

“We’re hoping that the $10,000 reward does help with that person that hasn’t come forward yet and just to let them know that now is the time to come forward with that information,” he said, adding: “Our message to everyone is, if you heard something, know something, saw something, please say something.”

Anyone with information can call the Missouri Highway Patrol at (573) 751-1000.

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