According to the police, a mum, Valerie Peck, 40, after firing at her child, turned the gun on herself in an attempt to take her own life.
But after surviving her wounds, she then thought about trying to freeze to death instead by driving his dead body around for several hours according to an affidavit.
The Uintah County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a shooting near Fantasy Canyon in central Uintah County on December 14 at 2:25pm.
Following her release from hospital the next day, Peck was charged with murder and child abuse according to a police press release shared on Facebook.
The initial press release stated that deputies found the woman “just west of state Road 45 on the Glen Bench Road” and that the boy was dead when they arrived.
“The woman, who deputies identified as the boy’s mother, received medical treatment on scene before being taken to a hospital due to the seriousness of her injuries,” authorities said.
The sheriff’s office said their investigation revealed that Peck and her son Zack went for a drive earlier on December 14 to the Dry Fork Canyon area.
“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 press release said.
Peck then drove around the area for a few more hours before she was eventually found by sheriff’s deputies.
A police affidavit states that Peck shot herself twice in the “upper extremities” after killing her son in an attempt to commit suicide, Deseret News reports.
The affidavit said that when she was unable to kill herself, she drove to another canyon to try to “freeze to death,” the outlet wrote, where she was found by sheriff’s deputies.
The affidavit said: “Valerie then used the .22 rifle and shot herself two times. Valerie told me she was trying to kill herself. When this didn’t work, she drove around Uintah County and then decided to go to Fantasy Canyon.
“When I asked what she was going to do at Fantasy Canyon, she told me she didn’t know, maybe freeze to death.”
Detectives have not said whether the call to the authorities came from Peck or from someone else.