Police are searching for a dad and his two young sons after they disappeared late last week in Missouri.
Police responded to the Warsaw home of Darrell Peak, 40, Friday morning and family explained that Peak had left the home with his two sons — Mayson, 3, and Kaiden, 4 — around 4 p.m. the day before, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday.
At the time, police said family members characterized Peak’s behavior as “out of character” but they weren’t immediately concerned.
Now, police say they believe Peak took his sons “with no plan to return.”
Officials have tried several times to issue an Amber Alert, but say the case doesn’t meet the criteria.
Peak and the boys were entered as missing Friday afternoon and police issued a be-on-the-look-out alert. Roughly an hour-and-a-half later, a Benton County sheriff’s deputy found Peak’s car abandoned along Highway 65 outside Warsaw.
Officials learned a Missouri State Trooper had stopped to help Peak around 5:30 p.m. Thursday but the father declined aid, police said. The trooper said the children were with Peak and seemed “fine.”
Around 7 p.m., the Missouri State Highway Patrol received a call about a man and two children walking along Highway 65. Troopers went to investigate, but didn’t find the trio.
Roughly an hour later, a Benton County deputy went to check on the abandoned car and saw who she believed to be Peak and the boys walking along the highway, police said.
She turned around to check on them, but they were gone.
Bonnie Peak, the boys’ mom, said the last few days have been excruciating.
“I don’t eat. I don’t sleep. All I wonder is, like, are my kids cold? Are they hungry? Where are they sleeping? Are they crying for me?” she told KTVI. “As a mother, these are the things that I have to sit here and worry about. All day and every day.”
Bonnie Peak told the outlet that Darrell Peak was angry when he left the home Thursday, explaining that he sometimes leaves for a couple hours when he’s upset.
Still, she called the incident “so out of his character,” adding that Darrell Peak is “a very good dad” and “not one to just take off with the children,” KTVI reported.
“I know he’s going through a lot lately and I don’t know if he’s just going through a mental breakdown,” she told the outlet. “I think he wanted to leave on his own and I think the children just happened to be in the car when he got in my car and took off.”
The incident remains under investigation.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Darrell, Mayson and Kaiden Peak is asked to call 911.
Warsaw is roughly 85 miles north of Springfield.