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Pics released in case of missing pregnant woman

Investigators searching for a pregnant woman missing since Christmas Eve released photographs of her husband's pickup truck and boat Thursday, asking witnesses to come forward and vouch for his whereabouts the day she disappeared.

"We continue as a department to desire to eliminate Scott Peterson from this investigation," Modesto Police spokesman Det. Doug Ridenour said at a news conference.


Scott Peterson said he last saw his wife, Laci Peterson, 27 and eight months' pregnant, at the couple's home the morning of December 24. A $500,000 reward has been posted to help find her.

He told police he was leaving that morning for a fishing trip some 85 miles away. His wife intended to walk their dog and go shopping for items for dinner that evening, he told investigators.

According to a police news release, the husband said he came home later that night and found the dog, its leash on, in the back yard. A neighbor had found the dog earlier in the day, authorities said, and put it in the yard. His wife's purse was still in the house and nothing had been disturbed, he told police.

Ridenour said the last time another family member had contact with Laci Peterson was a telephone conversation the evening of December 23.

Police said they had verified the legitimacy of a receipt Scott Peterson produced, that it had come from a parking lot at the marina he said he'd visited. Authorities have also searched the couple's home, their vehicles, and the husband's business.

Authorities impounded his vehicle, a bronze 2002 Ford 150 pickup with California license plate 6T59718 and his boat, a 14-foot aluminum craft with an outboard motor and a trailer. Police released photos and descriptions of the truck and boat, and asked that anyone who had seen them or Scott between December 23 and Christmas contact police.

When asked if the husband was cooperating with investigators, Ridenour said, "To some degree, yes." The couple has been married five years.

No one has been ruled out as a suspect yet, he said. "We haven't eliminated him, we haven't eliminated a lot of folks," Ridenour said.

Lee Peterson, Scott's father, told CNN's Ed Lavandera his son had not hired a lawyer.

"He has no reason to defend himself," Peterson said.

He said Scott had been hunting and fishing since he was five years old, and that he had traveled all over the state with his outdoorsman activities.

However, Peterson -- who lives in San Diego -- said he was not aware his son had bought a boat.

Ridenour said more than 1,100 calls had come in to a tip line set up in the case, and investigators were following all credible leads.

Thursday, officers searched expanding areas on horseback and by bicycle. They also continued to question parolees and registered sex offenders in the area. Volunteers have also joined the search, which was expanded earlier in the week outside this community, about 45 miles northeast of San Jose.

Based on the behavior of canine search teams, they believe Laci left her house in a vehicle and not on foot, police said.

Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha, appealed to whoever has her daughter to bring her home.

"I would hope that you would have some compassion in your heart -- that if this was your daughter, sister, (or) mother would you want them to live in the fear and terror that my daughter has been living in?" she asked.

After the brief statement, Rocha told reporters she didn't think her son-in-law was involved in the disappearance.

In an interview on CNN's Connie Chung Tonight, Rocha called Laci and Scott a "happy, happy couple" and said she didn't know of any problems in their marriage.

"Scott's just as worried as we are, he's sick at heart about what's happened to Laci, we are all looking for Laci," Rocha said, adding, "We're going to find you honey, we love you."

**I can't believe there are NO leads in this case. Looks like there would be some evidence somewhere. She couldn't have walked to far because the dog was walking around in the neighborhood. I think it is strange that the father of the husband didn't even know the son had bought a boat and why does her scent trail end as if she was put in a vehicle and driven away? I hope the husband didn't do it.**
 

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Michelle, I agree with you, you would think there would be leads somewhere.

But, on the other topic of his father not knowing he had purchased a boat. When I was working and we had money to do what we wanted with, I didn't tell my family if we got something new. All I would get was nasty comments on how we were throwing away our money on trips, expensive toys etc. I finally got fed up with my younger sister and told her she could have all my money if she would give me her children legally and never see them again. I never heard another word out of her!

So, I'm not really defending him, but there could be a reason his Dad didn't know.

I hope they find her soon, she must be terrified!
 

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I saw this on the news the day after christmas, and just cried and cried, she is such a beautiful woman, and looks so happy and innocent...and wow, eight months along! I hope she and the baby are ok :(

Seeing the husband interviewed he didn't look as upset as her mother/sister etc did..he almost looked like he was smirking at times but that could have just been camera shyness too...
 

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I don't live too far from Modesto. This case definitely has some foul play involved. I wouldn't be surprised if hubby was involved. It may end up being a case they never solve. :(
 

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I really think maybe that husband did have something to do with it, i also saw teh mother of the missing woman on tv and see said he didn't have anything to do with it. BUT i don't think that anyone knows what goes on behind closed doors. JMO!
 

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I have said all along it was a little strange that a 'loving husband' would leave his 8 1/2 mos pregnant wife home alone and go 80 miles away in the middl e of a lake?

As for his dad not knowing about the boat, who can say? Sometimes in a crisis family members come out of the woodwork and pretend that they are oh-so-close to the people at stake, when in fact they haven't seen them in years. I've seen it when I was dating a trooper...
 

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maybe the husband isnt involved..maybe some one wanted the baby, it has happened..she maybe raninto or met some one who was willing to kill for a baby..

this makes no sense to me as there are pleanty of children who need homes.u maynot get a new born, maybe a kid who is a year or two..

just a thought
 

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I am really heartbroken over this story...

I am really heartbroken over this story...
I have also been following the one where the Mom was Pregnant and her Three Children were shot to death in a Forest and the Husband was the one who killed them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update as reported on CNN.com


Report: Affair, life insurance tied to missing woman's husband

The family of a missing Modesto, California, woman declined to comment Friday on published reports that police say her husband was having an affair and had taken out a life insurance policy on her last summer.

Laci Peterson, 27, was pregnant at the time of her disappearance, December 24, with a due date of February 10.

The Modesto Bee newspaper on Friday quoted a relative of the missing woman, saying police had shown the family photographs of her husband with another woman in the Fresno area. The relative did not wish to be identified, the paper said.

The family member said police also told the family that Scott Peterson took out a $250,000 life insurance policy on his wife after the couple learned she was pregnant, according to the Bee.

Family spokeswoman Kim Peterson (no relation) told CNN the family would have no comment on the Bee's report, but said that family members did not recognize the woman in the photographs.

Modesto Police spokesman Det. Doug Ridenour would neither confirm nor deny the newspaper report.

Police have not specifically named Scott Peterson as a suspect in his wife's disappearance, but have not ruled him out.

Earlier this week, family members told CNN they did not believe Scott Peterson was responsible for Laci Peterson's disappearance.

Scott Peterson was the last person known to have seen his wife before she disappeared.

He told police that he left their home on the morning of December 24 for a solo fishing trip in the bay, about 85 miles away. He said his wife told him she intended to walk their golden retriever in a nearby park and then shop for that evening's dinner.

Police said Scott told them he returned home later that day and found the family's dog, with its leash on, in the back yard. A neighbor had found the dog wandering earlier in the day, authorities said, and put it in the yard. Scott said his wife's purse was still in the house and that nothing had been disturbed.

Peterson has produced a receipt from a marina parking lot in Berkeley dated December 24, and on Sunday, police divers searched an area near the San Francisco Bay where Peterson said he was fishing. They did not find anything.
 

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I still think the husband did it! I hope he didn't but I'm pretty sure he did.
 

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I heard about this update also but I just don't know if he did it or not. There is some doubt in my mind due to events like the Susan Smith case but you just never know. I'm hoping that he didn't do it and praying for that family!!
 

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They are now saying that at the college he attended, back when he attended it there is a girl is missing. Something is fishy. I hope they solve this soon. Modesto is not all that far from us.
 

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Call me cynical, but the moment I heard about this story I said look at the husband, it just doesn't make sense that a "loving" husband leaves his 8 months pregnant wife to go fishing on Christmas Eve! Then I heard later that the boat he was fishing on wasn't even large enough for the type of fish that he said he was fishing for. Who knows? As for the insurance, that sounds like something a couple expecting a baby might do, so that's not quite as suspect. I would love to have a happy ending to this story for everyone involved. My heart breaks for the families.:(
 
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