HONOLULU (KHON2) — The 19-year-old suspect was arrested on suspicion of beating his mother to death in Makaha on Wednesday and he made his first court appearance on Friday, April 22.
Joshua McPeek was arrested on Wednesday, April 20, after police responded to an emergency call about a woman being found beaten to death on Farrington Highway.
Court records said that when HPD officers arrived at the scene they saw the victim “lying lifeless flat on her back, with her face covered in blood and unrecognizable due to her severe injuries.”
The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office released the victim’s name on Friday, April 22. The victim is identified as 38-year-old Michelle McPeek from Waianae.
Police said witnesses had heard the two arguing before the violent encounter. And there were people who “… witnessed the suspect with no shirt and red shorts, striking the female victim at the scene multiple times with both his fists and stomping the female’s face in with his feet.”
Documents revealed Joshua ran off but didn’t get far. So police officers caught up to him and, “… observed the suspect attired in red shorts with no shirt, with blood covering his face and hands.”
Experts on domestic violence point out that it’s pretty rare to get reports of someone assaulting their mother. In part, because mothers are reluctant to report it.
“Mothers hardly report that kind of abusive behavior. I think it’s just a natural tendency of a mother’s love towards their children. In general, we only hear about it once something really fatal happened already,” said Cristina Arias, vice-president of Survivor Advocacy Services at the Domestic Violence Action Center.
Arias said that’s why it’s important for friends and neighbors to reach out to those who might be in need of help. And consider the consequences for the victim.
“What does that mean for the mother who is trying to protect herself and her child? But I think we just have to be all just accountable to each other,” said Arias.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
Joshua was charged with second-degree murder, and his bail was set at $1,000,000. His next court date is set for Tuesday, April 26.