Five years later, still no arrests in shooting of South Dakota woman on I-70 in Missouri

December 7, 2023

Five years ago this week, a 40-year-old Hartford, South Dakota  mother was shot and killed while driving on Interstate 70 near Booneville, Missouri.

Melissa Peskey’s vehicle went into a median and crashed. Two children were inside the car, but were not harmed.

To this day, authorities have still not figured out who killed Peskey. There are still no suspects or persons of interest in this case.

But the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) says it’s still an active case and an open investigation.

Investigators believe the shooting was not an accident, but instead a targeted attack, saying that whoever pointed a gun at Peskey and pulled the trigger intended to do so.

Since that fateful night five years ago, 234 leads have come in, but fewer than 30 new leads have arrived in the last two-and-a-half years.

“Little to no witnesses involved,” Missouri Highway Patrol public information officer Darrin Haslag said. “It’s a complex story. You know, she’s from another state traveling through our state.”

“We have shootings on the interstates,” Haslag said. “A lot of the times that bleeds over something that happened before the event went on, whether it’d be, I’d say road rage or maybe a fight that broke out that spilled into driving on the interstate.”

The MSHP has passed this case on to multiple agencies, including the FBI, to give it a fresh set of eyes, and at least 20 different investigators have looked into it.

Haslag said that the case has been such a perplexing puzzle to solve that it was even presented to investigators from all over the country at a recent FBI Violent Criminal Apprehension Program seminar in hopes there would be even more feedback. So far, all they’ve told him is Missouri investigators have done all they can.

Haslag insists the three or four core investigators working on it are “very good, very hard-working investigators” who care deeply and take the burden of its unsolved status home with them.

“You wouldn’t be an investigator worth his weight if you didn’t care about your victims and their families,” Haslag said. “This bothers them. They’d love to put some closure to this and get some answers for Melissa’s family.”