Melissa Peacock was murdered in Hants County, court hears in gruesome account

Haley Ryan
Published on July 17, 2014


Melissa Peacock’s nine-year-old sister wrote to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court that she has a fear she will “end up like Melissa” whenever she moves away.

On July 16, the court heard details from the agreed statement of facts on how the 20-year-old Dartmouth woman was killed in 2011, and around Ben Hare’s murder in 2010.

Read more about the sentencing here.

Dustan Preeper and his brother Josh Preeper, who both pleaded guilty to murdering Peacock, picked her up in the Windmill Road area on the evening of Nov. 7.

She had just gotten to know Dustan on Facebook, and he initiated a long exchange of texts that day by explaining his connection to her through a cousin.

They drove to a Hants County residence off Highway 14 that night where they continued to party. The record said Peacock was highly intoxicated, and not feeling well when Josh Preeper saw her go outside and get into Dustan’s car.

He believed she had meant to take the car, and took the keys from her before telling Dustan.

Around 3:30 a.m., both men told Peacock they were driving her home, but instead went to the Old Renfrew Road in Upper Rawdon. Dustan stabbed Melissa and told Josh to drag her into the woods, while she was breathing heavily.

In February 2012, RCMP told the media a property in Rawdon was searched as part of the investigation.

The court heard Dustan poured gas on Peacock and told Josh to light it, which he did and the pair returned to the Hants County residence.

Later on Nov.8, the brothers returned to the site and took Peacock’s burned remains to a wooded area near Stewiacke where they buried them.

In conversations with an undercover police officer between June and July 2012, Dustan said he planned on killing Peacock because he was mad at her for attempting to steal his car.

Two of Melissa Peacock’s younger siblings submitted drawings of hearts, flowers and an image of Melissa along with their victim impact statements.

“I fear that I will end up like Melissa when I move away. So I am not moving away until I have a husband,” nine-year-old Madison Slauenwhite wrote. “My friends talk about her all the time and it makes me sad.”

Peacock’s 17-year-old brother, Tyler Peacock, said in his statement: “Losing Melissa has turned my life upside down. The pain I’m feeling is unimaginably excruciating,” while Peacock’s mother, Ruth Slauenwhite, wrote “I have lost the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to Melissa, which haunts me everyday.”

Both Ruth and James Slauenwhite, Peacock’s stepfather, said the tragedy has taken a toll on their relationship and changed how they interact with their other children.