Why authorities say there wasn’t an Amber Alert for two missing boys
BENTON COUNTY, Mo. – A family is now planning a funeral for two young boys and their father after deputies found their bodies on Monday.
Four-year-old Kaiden Peak, 3-year-old Mason Peak and their father, Darrell Peak, were found dead near where they were last seen on Thursday. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says this case doesn’t meet all the criteria for an Amber Alert.
Authorities said Darrell Peak took his two sons from near the family home on Thursday, but when the family filed a missing person’s report on Friday, deputies said there wasn’t any reason to believe he would hurt his sons in any way which meant no Amber Alert.
Greene County detectives worked around the clock since the report was made attempting to locate Darrell Peak and his children. Dozens of leads were generated, and despite the family’s belief that he would not harm his children, detectives decided to pursue criminal charges for the arrest of Darrell Peak, hoping that this would generate additional tips and leads.
On Monday, deputies found the two boys and their father dead inside a building not too far from where they were last spotted near U.S. Highway 65 near Route T north of Warsaw.
“Individual law enforcement agencies don’t have the authority to just issue an amber alert. We’ve approached the highway patrol on a few occasions with the information in an attempt to get an amber alert put out. but it has not met the criteria. The highway patrol wants to preserve that criteria because we want to protect the seriousness of amber alerts. We don’t want to issue amber alerts so much that the public becomes numb to it,” said Deputy Jason Winston with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
The Justice Department set the following criteria to issue an Amber Alert:
- Law enforcement confirms that an abduction has occurred
- The child is 17 years old or younger
- The child is at risk of serious injury or death
- There’s enough descriptive information about the child, the captor, or the captor’s vehicle to issue an alert