Father's Day Horror: Man Kills Himself and Daughter in Apparent Murder Suicide

It's been a particularly bloody few days for Valley children. Loggan Lampert, 14, is bludgeoned to death by his uncle. A 2-year-old beaten with a belt buckle, allegedly by her mom's boyfriend, dies. Another 2-year-old dies after being hit by a car in his trailer park. And now this:

A Valley father who went camping with his 3-year-old daughter in a remote area near the Grand Canyon apparently shot himself and the girl.

Family members were unable to make contact with Ryan Peters, 29, and began call police frantically, worried that Peters was suicidal after his recent divorce and loss of child custody to his ex-wife. A relative made mobile-phone contact with Peters, who said he was camping between Jacob Lake and the Canyon's North Rim. A Coconino County deputy found the bodies early this morning.

See full text of news release by the Mesa police below:

Coconino County Sheriff's Detectives Investigate the Deaths of a Father and his Daughter at Jacob Lake

Flagstaff, AZ- Coconino County Sheriff's Deputies are investigating the death of 29 year-old Ryan Peters and his three year old daughter Teigan Peters, both from the Phoenix area. On June 22, 2009 at about 12:25 a.m. the deputy assigned to the Fredonia district located a campsite in the area of Parissawampitts Point off of Highway 67 that leads to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. He observed the bodies of an adult male and a very young female, both with apparent gunshot wounds.

On Sunday June 21, 2009 at about 9:p.m. officers of the Mesa Police Department called the Coconino County Sheriff's Office with an attempt to locate on Ryan Peters and his daughter. The Mesa Police Department was contacted by a relative of Ryan Peters who described him as despondent and possibly suicidal as the result of a recent divorce and the determination of the custody of his daughter.

Mr. Peters' family members contacted the Mesa Police department on Sunday at about 5:30 p.m. with concern for the safety of Mr. Peters and his daughter Teigan. At the time of the initial report it was only known that he was camping however the location was unknown. During the course of the afternoon several family members were in cell phone contact with Mr. Peters and shared that information with the Mesa Police Department.

During their investigation Mesa Police Officers and Detectives learned that Ryan Peters' ex-wife filed a custodial interference complaint with the Gilbert Police Department on June 19, 2009 when Mr. Peters failed to return Teigan to her mother as stipulated by a custody agreement.

At about 9:p.m. on Sunday a family member told Mesa Police Officers he had talked with Ryan and confirmed he was camping in an area between Jacob Lake and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Coconino County Sheriff's Detectives will continue the investigation of this apparent murder-suicide in an attempt to determine the events that lead to the deaths of Ryan and Teigan Peters.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern