Skip to comments.Husband (Scott Peterson) Arrested in Calif. Woman's Death
Posted on 04/19/2003 6:06:03 AM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
MODESTO, Calif. - Authorities said genetic odds "in the billions" proved that two bodies that recently washed ashore were those of Laci Peterson and her baby, in an announcement that came hours after the missing woman's husband was arrested in their deaths.
Scott Peterson, 30, arrived at the Stanislaus County jail just before midnight after being driven there from San Diego, where he was arrested 12 hours earlier. Prosecutors said they planned on charging him with double murder, which would make him eligible for the death penalty.
The body of Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant, and her unborn child were found this week about three miles from where Scott Peterson said he was fishing when his wife disappeared Christmas Eve.
Plainclothes agents who had been tracking Scott Peterson's movements with phone taps and vehicle sensors made the arrest before the DNA test results on the bodies were known because Peterson was considered a flight risk, and because he had indicated he knew he was under surveillance, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.
Apart from the two badly decomposed bodies, Modesto Police Chief Roy Wasden declined to describe the state's evidence. But he said it suggested that Laci Peterson may have been killed on Dec. 23 because no "credible witness" saw or heard from her after that.
Officials wouldn't discuss Scott Peterson's possible motives.
Wasden said there were no other suspects in the case. The fact that a $50,000 reward for information leading to her body went unclaimed, he said, "continued to reinforce that one person knew what happened to Laci and where Laci was."
Scott Peterson's first court appearance will come on Monday or Tuesday. His attorney, Kirk McAllister, did not immediately return telephone messages Friday from The Associated Press.
The dramatic turn in the case came nearly a week after pedestrians found the bodies of Laci Peterson and the son she had already named Conner washed up about a mile apart on the shoreline.
The bodies were identified Friday evening through a comparison with DNA samples from Scott Peterson and Laci Peterson's parents.
"There is no question in our minds that the unidentified female is Laci Peterson. The unidentified fetus is the biological child of Laci and Scott Peterson," Lockyer said. "We're scientifically convinced the match is one in billions."
A spokeswoman for Laci Peterson's family said relatives were devastated by the confirmation of the deaths, but grateful they finally had an answer after months of uncertainty.
"Families in their circumstances will always tell you the worst thing is not knowing," said spokeswoman Kim Petersen, executive director of the Carole Sund-Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation. "I don't know if relief is the right word. ... The waiting this week has been horrific for them."
Virtually from the moment his wife was reported missing, Scott Peterson's moves and statements have been scrutinized by authorities.
Modesto police seized his boat, pickup truck and nearly 100 items from the couple's house but had not formally named him as a suspect in his wife's disappearance.
Peterson traded in his wife's Land Rover for a new pickup truck, considered selling their home and eventually admitted he'd had an extramarital affair with a massage therapist while his wife was pregnant with the couple's baby.
Peterson said he'd told his wife about the affair in the days before she vanished.
"It was not a positive, obviously ... but it was not something that we weren't dealing with," he told ABC's "Good Morning America." "It wasn't anything that would break us apart."
The affair turned Laci Peterson's family against the son-in-law they had earlier supported. They begged him to cooperate with Modesto police, who had labeled him "uncooperative."
Scott Peterson launched his own search effort, separate from the one organized by his wife's family and sanctioned by police. At one point, as searchers looked in the San Francisco Bay and around Modesto, Scott Peterson showed up in Los Angeles to distribute fliers to volunteers at a local hotel.
"We simply have to expand the geographical area," he said at the time.
In February, Scott Peterson told MSNBC he missed his wife and the child she was to bear.
"I can't drive. I can't sleep," he said then. "Sometimes I feel I just can't do it. I feel like I'm in a dark corner and I just can't function."
Stanislaus County, California, Sheriff's Department released this booking photo of Scott Lee Peterson on April 19, 2003. Peterson was charged for two counts of murder at the time of booking. The arrest of Peterson came as authorities confirmed that two bodies that washed ashore this week were those of Laci Peterson and her baby. Laci Peterson was more than eight months pregnant when she vanished from her home in Modesto, California on Christmas Eve, 2002. REUTERS/Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department/Handout
Interesting that Scott Peterson was arrested BEFORE the DNA test results. Did they gag this in the media... I wonder, atleast until the DNA tests came back? I wonder if Laci's family were notified about Scott's arrest before he was arrested???
PREVIOUSLY (two months ago)
I triple guarantee you I an not a flight risk. Pay no attention to the dyed hair and beard. Do not believe your eyes! Believe me!... *handcuffs click*
They were tailing Scott, and realized his change of appearance might mean he would flee the country. (Could have been because he wanted to go public in-cognito, who knows for sure).
Since Scott has been unwilling to speak with Laci's family for months, I think NOW, the Rocha's are going to sit across that cold table from him, look him in the eye and say "WHY, Scott, WHY?". They can't wait.
They said they had seen Scott in the past 2 weeks & saw his bleached hair. Scott told them he had been swimming in a friend's pool and water bleached his hair.
Also said Scott called them after he was arrested, however, they did not say what was discussed.
Yeah Scummy Scott and I got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.
Scott Peterson tells police in Modesto, California, that his wife, Laci, who is eight months pregnant, has not been seen since mid-morning. Peterson tells police he had gone fishing in San Francisco Bay, and that Laci had stayed home to shop for dinner and to walk their dog in East La Loma Park, commonly called Dry Creek Park. Scott Peterson and family members begin searching the park. Hundreds of volunteers would later join the search.
December 31, 2002
Laci Peterson's disappearance is the result of foul play, Modesto police spokesman Detective Doug Ridenour says at a news conference. "She did not walk away voluntarily," he says, and adds that no one, including Scott Peterson, has been ruled out as a potential suspect.
January 4, 2003
Authorities use cadaver-sniffing dogs to search Berkeley Marina, where Scott Peterson says he went fishing the day his wife disappeared.
January 17, 2003
Sources reveal that police have shown Laci Peterson's family pictures that link Scott Peterson with another woman. The family is told that Scott Peterson took out a $250,000 life insurance policy on his wife.
January 20, 2003
Authorities reveal that the Peterson home was broken into between January 16 and 19. Modesto police Detective Doug Ridenour says the "bizarre" break-in was not connected to Laci Peterson's disappearance and that nothing significant was taken.
January 23, 2003
Amber Frey reveals at a news conference that she was the woman photographed with Scott Peterson. Frey says she did not know Peterson was married when they began their affair, and police say she has been eliminated as a suspect in Laci Peterson's disappearance.
January 29, 2003
Scott Peterson tells reporters that he cut his hand and bled inside his truck the day his wife disappeared.
January 30, 2003
Modesto police ask Scott Peterson to cooperate with investigators.
January 31, 2003
Police review hours of surveillance videotape from a grocery store in Longview, Washington, and then discount a clerk's claim that she might have seen Laci Peterson on December 24.
February 10, 2003
Laci Peterson's due date arrives. The Petersons had decided to name the boy Connor.
February 18, 2003
Modesto police conduct "a follow-up search" at the Peterson home, the second search since December 26, two days after Laci Peterson was last reported seen.
April 14, 2003
The remains of a woman and baby boy that washed ashore at Point Isabel Regional Park, in Richmond, California, are discovered. Officials investigating the case of Laci Peterson are waiting for DNA test results to determine whether the bodies are those of Peterson and her son. The bodies were found about two miles from where Laci's husband Scott told police he went fishing on the day she disappeared and about 80 miles northwest of their home in Modesto.
April 18, 2003
Scott Peterson is arrested in connection with Laci's murder. Prosecutors announce the arrest after confirming the two bodies that washed ashore along San Francisco Bay April 13 and 14 are those of Laci Peterson and her baby.
That's got to be one of the lamest excuses I've ever heard.
On Fox News this morning, one of their experts, Bo Dietl, said the police had the arrest warrant a couple of days before they positively I.D.'ed the bodies. This indicated to Dietl that they had enough to arrest him without the I.D.
Wonder who else he's been calling since incarceration? Golf courses to cancel future golf dates?
Slap, slap. The whole world is stupid, according to Scott Peterson.
I've got news for the chief. Thats not how time of death is determined. I hope investigators can provide a better timeline for how long those bodies were in the water. Preferably based on scientific evidence, rather than police guess work.
I was suprised the coroner didn't address this (time of death) question more directly during the news conference.
Did the a$$hole Scott feel so guilty he could not live with himself so he got scuba gear and dived and released the cement anchor??? from Laci's body, therefore (the body rising up fast) more so causing the combustion of the baby being born? SICK-but maybe he is so sick he felt guilty and for some sick Scott reason released the cement anchor (s). They found traces of cement in his car (or was it boat) so he did utilize cement right???