It has been 32 days now since a Sioux Falls area realtor was murdered.
Melissa Peskey was traveling with her children when she was shot and killed while driving her car on Interstate 70 near Boonville, Missouri.
Last week we went to Boonville to speak with those working to find Melissa's killer and those who say they're worried about a violent crime like this happening so close to home.
Mile marker 96 on Interstate 70 in Missouri is unremarkable.
Traffic flows by. A lot of it is over the road truckers looking to make a drop off.
You would consider it just another stretch of road if not for what happened here in the late evening hours of December 13th.
Someone committed murder.
"She was eastbound, crossed through the median, through the median cables and her vehicle came to a final rest here behind me." Sergeant Scott White with the Missouri State Highway Patrol tells me Melissa Peskey was driving her car with her two kids inside...and that for a reason they don't yet know or understand...someone with a gun aimed it at her then pulled the trigger. When officers arrived at the scene they found her kids unharmed but she was dead. "This was a young mother traveling down the highway, minding her own business, not doing anything wrong and she was shot and she was killed. So it's an absolute tragedy and that's one of the reasons that we are....this is our primary focus right now is to find out....find out who killed her."
Who did kill her? Who would pull out a gun and fire it on an interstate in the middle of the night...with it aimed towards Melissa Peskey?
At the outset investigators said there were three possibilities for this case: that Melissa Peskey's shooting was some kind of accident. That Melissa Peskey's shooting was intentional and that the gunman knew her or that this shooting was some kind of random act that played out on a Missouri interstate. One month later; investigators say for certain this was no accident and that whoever pulled the trigger of the gun on that night intended to kill Melissa Peskey.
And that is chilling.
Nothing like this has happened on Interstate 70 before.....or since....someone took Melissa's life.
So what was it about her and about that night that this happened?
The closest town to the shooting site is Boonville, Missouri....established by two sons of the American pioneer Daniel Boone.....and known as the site of one of the first battles of the Civil War.
The 19th century architectural influence is easy to see here.
Just over 83-hundred people live in Boonville.
With all of them wondering who killed a Sioux Falls mom on the interstate...and why?
"It's not a huge community so a lot of people knew what happened....are aware that something like this happened so close to town." Jon Fish works in Boonville but lives in a neighboring town.
He has to drive Interstate 70 every day to get to work and says he never questioned his safety other than to worry about a car crash.
Now he has to wonder about someone being out there with a gun and having no problem using it on drivers. "As a community you question how something like that happens on a public roadway."
Boonville is the kind of town where flags wave at nearly every corner and the holiday decorations still gleam from street poles.
It shouldn't be the scene for a Missouri murder mystery.
But it is.
Investigators have followed up on more than 120 leads...and while nothing concrete has materialized that's led to a killer....there is an interesting piece of information that investigators are following up on. Sergeant Scott White tells us, "There has been some mention of incidents in other states. in Georgia and Texas. The fact is right now currently there is no indication that these events are related but we have reached out to those agencies to see if there is any comparison."
Mile marker 96 on Interstate 70 in Missouri. We know what happened here. We just don't know who is responsible. In the ditch where Melissa Peskey's car came to rest there is a single bouquet of flowers. No sign of who put them there. It is a marker of a horrible tragedy......of a woman who paid a price with her life.....targeted for a reason that remains unknown.
Sergeant White with the Missouri State Highway Patrol says solving this case is their priority right now. They are encouraging anyone who may have any type of information to give them a call at 573-751-1000. He says any kernel of knowledge could be helpful and that people shouldn't talk themselves out of calling if they know something. As for Melissa Peskey's two kids, they are back in the Sioux Falls area with their father. We contacted him about this story and he said he didn't wish to talk at this time.