Highway Patrol following 65 leads in S.D. woman's death

Children were also in the vehicle

COOPER COUNTY, Mo. - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the death of a South Dakota woman found in her vehicle on Interstate 70.

MSHP is following 65 leads in the investigation, according to Sgt. Scott White.

Troopers responded to a reported crash on Interstate 70 at mile marker 96 at about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 13 in Cooper County. Officers found the body of Melissa A. Peskey, 40, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dead in the driver’s seat, MSHP said in a press release.

An autopsy performed by the Boone County Medical Examiner's Office in Columbia on Monday revealed Peskey died of a gunshot wound from a weapon fired outside of the vehicle. The highway patrol shared on Twitter a photo of a maroon SUV they said was similar to the one Peskey was driving when she was shot.

White said her children were in the vehicle when the shooting took place.



A South Dakota news website reported that Peskey was traveling to visit friends in North Carolina with her two children. The children are now in foster care in Missouri, according to the report. The report also said Peskey's husband is being eyed as a person of interest.

The homicide investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information can contact the MSHP at 573-751-1000.

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