VERNAL, Utah — A woman drove for hours through the Utah countryside with her dead 2-year-old son’s body sitting next to her after fatally shooting him and then turning the gun on herself but surviving, cops said.
Valerie Peck, 40, has been charged with aggravated murder and child abuse in connection with the shooting death of her son, Zack.
The Uintah County Sheriff’s office said they received a report of a shooting in the area of Fantasy Canyon in northeast Utah. The initial report was that a woman and a boy had been shot.
Deputies eventually found Peck and her son in a car driving along a back country road. The boy was dead when deputies arrived. Peck was transported to a local hospital, where she was treated for her injuries, cops said..
During the investigation, deputies learned that Peck had taken her son on a drive to the Dry Fork Canyon area earlier in the day. She then stopped at a camping area where she put her son back in the vehicle and shot him with a .22-caliber rifle. Peck then shot herself, but survived.
Cops say she then drove around Uintah County for several hours with her son’s body in the vehicle before officers caught up with her.
Upon Peck’s release from the hospital, she was taken into custody and transported to the Uintah County Jail, where she is currently being held.