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Missing Modesto Woman Likely a Victim of Foul Play, Police Say

January 01, 2003|From Staff and Wire

Police on Tuesday said they were shifting their focus to foul play in the disappearance of a pregnant Modesto woman.

"We're checking all things, and with the evidence it's becoming more likely there was foul play," said Modesto police Det. Doug Ridenour.

Laci Peterson, 27, has not been seen since the morning of Christmas Eve, when her husband, Scott, said he left her at home to travel to Berkeley for a solo fishing trip. He reported her missing that evening when he returned home. Peterson is eight months' pregnant.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, police said Scott Peterson has turned over a time-stamped parking receipt from the Berkeley Marina. Police said they are not focusing on him, or anyone else, as a suspect.

Hundreds of volunteers and police officers have scoured East La Loma Park and rural areas. Scott Peterson told police his wife was planning to walk their golden retriever at the park on the morning of Christmas Eve, though police now say that they believe she never made it there.

Peterson's family hosted a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening at the park.

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