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Woman arrested in connection with shooting death of 2-year-old son in Uintah County

Uintah County Sheriff's Office

(KSL TV, File)


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SALT LAKE CITY — A woman was arrested after police say she shot her 2-year-old son, then herself, near Fantasy Canyon in central Uintah County on Monday.

Sheriff's deputies were dispatched on Monday around 2:30 p.m. to the area of Fantasy Canyon after a shooting was reported, officials said. Initial reports indicated it involved a young boy around age 3 and a 40-year-old woman.

Valerie Peck, 40, was identified Tuesday in a statement by Uintah County Chief Deputy Brian Fletcher as the woman involved in the shooting.

Peck took her 2-year-old son, Zack, on a drive Monday morning in Dry Fork Canyon, according to Fletcher. She stopped near a camping area north of Dry Fork on Red Cloud Loop Road.

"After spending some time in the area, Peck put her son back in the vehicle and shot him with a .22-caliber rifle. Peck then shot herself," the statement read. "After shooting herself, Peck drove around Uintah County for several hours with her son in the vehicle and eventually ended up in the area where deputies came in contact with her."

Police found Peck and her 2-year-old son, Zack, on Monday in a car west of state Road 45 on Glen Bench Road, according to Fletcher. Zack had died from his injuries before police arrived. Peck was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for her injuries.

Peck was released from the hospital Tuesday and taken into police custody. She was booked into Uintah County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder and child abuse.

"The sheriff's office extends its most sincere condolences to all who knew and loved Zack," the statement read.

Police did not release any additional information about the investigation.

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