Grieving Utah Dad regrets ‘not getting involved’ now daughter dead at hands of abusive husband

Katie Peralta’s estranged husband shot her before taking his own life

A Utah father who lost his daughter to a murder-suicide is wondering how he could have missed the signs that her troubled marriage would become deadly.

Katie Peralta had recently told her husband, Richard Peralta, that she was planning to file for divorce when he showed up to her place of work and shot her in the parking lot before turning the gun on himself. Both Katie and Richard died of their injuries,s

Katie’s father Carl Calaway told Deseret News that his 23-year-old daughter was “back to the old Katie again” after filing for divorce. “She opened right up. She was a different person.”

In retrospect, perhaps that was exactly the problem.

While Katie herself and her family know that Richard could be controlling, but the young mother did not appear to fear her husband in any way. So of course, neither did her family.

“When she made up her mind (about the divorce), boy, she actually told us some things that concerned us, but we never pictured physical abuse,” Calaway told Deseret News, acknowledging that “we did see the control.” Richard reportedly put everything the couple shared in his name, and prioritized time with his friends over his family.

“I always believed, though, very strongly in staying out of marriage issues,” Calaway said. “I wonder — Katie did share some things with us six weeks ago, but they still weren’t (obvious signs).”

It does not appear that anyone could have anticipated the horrible tragedy, which left the Peralta’s 15-month-old boy an orphan.

“When something is really going on, people really need to pay more attention,” Calaway told the newspaper. “I ask every day if there was something missing.”