Search turns up anchor in marina
Sunday, January 12, 2003
MODESTO, Calif. -- The submerged object found by sonar in a marina turned out to be a boat anchor, not the body of a missing pregnant woman as feared, her sister-in-law said Saturday.
"I have to laugh," said Susan Caudillo as volunteers applauded and cheered. "It's a very common thing to have in a marina. We just knew it wasn't going to be Laci."
Laci Peterson, 27, of Modesto, has been missing since Christmas Eve. She's eight months pregnant and her baby shower had been planned for Saturday.
Instead of celebrating, her family and friends gathered to post flyers.
About 100 miles away, divers searched by hand along the floor of the Berkeley Marina for the object which had been spotted Thursday with sonar equipment.
"The dive teams located ... an anchor that was sunk down into the bottom part of the bay," Modesto Police Sgt. Ron Cloward said. "We rechecked with sonar ... to confirm the area was clear of any other objects."
Scott Peterson, the woman's husband and the father of the unborn child, said he was fishing at the marina the day his wife went missing.
Scott Peterson said he last saw his wife on the morning of Dec. 24. A neighbor found her dog later that day walking alone through the neighborhood; her car was still parked in her driveway.
Scott Peterson has not been named as a suspect and has not commented publicly. Police have described him as less than cooperative, but volunteers said he comes into the hotel search headquarters early every morning.
Saturday was no different, according to his father, Lee Peterson, who said his son went out with volunteers early in the day.
"We still think she's going to come home," he said.