Funds being raised to find killer

Family and friends are organizing fundraisers that will raise funds for a reward for any information given on the murder of Chatsworth native Melissa Peskey.

CHATSWORTH—Family and friends of Chatsworth native Melissa Peskey are raising funds to be offered as money reward for any information given related to Peskey’s murder. 

More than $2,200 of a $10,000 goal has been raised so far via an onlie GoFundMe page.

“We are raising money to build a reward for the person or people who come forward with information that leads to the arrest of our beautiful daughter, sister, mother and friend. She deserves justice,” said a statement from the Facebook event page for the fundraiser.

The four person best ball tournament will start 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Hawarden Golf Course. All funds raised will be used as reward money.

Melissa, a 40-year-old rural Hartford, SD, was discovered deceased Dec. 13, 2018, in the driver’s seat of a sport utility vehicle — with her two children in the back seat — on a rural stretch of Interstate 70 near the small central Missouri city of Boonville.

Melissa was the mother of a daughter, Charlee, and a son, Axton, who were 11 and 5, respectively, at the time of the shooting. They had been traveling together to South Carolina to visit friends.

About the case

At about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 13, 2018, troopers responded to a single-vehicle traffic crash on I-70 just west of Boonville and discovered Melissa’s crashed Ford Flex.

According to the highway patrol, Melissa and her children had been traveling east on the interstate when her SUV crashed in western Cooper County.

However, as the highway patrol’s investigation developed, it became apparent to law enforcement that Melissa had not died as a result of the crash.

Preliminary results of the investigation at the scene and an autopsy performed on Melissa in Columbia, MO, indicated that she died of a gunshot wound caused by a weapon fired from outside the vehicle.

The highway patrol has not said when the gunshot occurred — whether it was fired before or after the SUV crashed — because of the ongoing investigation.

Law enforcement also has not re--vealed where on her body Melissa was shot, what kind of firearm was utilized in the shooting and whether her vehicle was moving at the time the shooting occurred.


To donate toward the reward money fund for information leading to the arrest of the person who killed Melissa Peskey, visit and search “The search for Melissa Peskey’s murderer.”

In addition, former co-workers of Melissa’s at Keller Williams Realty — where she had worked as a real estate agent for about four years — in Sioux Falls, SD, are raising money for a scholarship fund for her two children.

People may donate to the scholarship fund online at by visiting or mailing a check payable to KW Cares, C/O Peskey Children Fundraiser, 6300 S. Connie Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57108.


n The Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to investigate who shot and killed former Chatsworth resident Melissa (Renken) Peskey and why, so anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the highway patrol at 573-751-1000.