again search Laci Peterson's home
Spokesman: No arrests imminent in missing woman case
Wednesday, February 19, 2003 Posted: 6:55 AM EST (1155
MODESTO, California (CNN) -- Police conducted "a follow-up search" Tuesday at the home of Scott Peterson and his missing wife, Laci, where a large yellow sign in the yard proclaims the $500,000 reward offered for information in the 27-year-old's disappearance.
It was the second such search since December 26, two days after the pregnant woman was last reported seen.
Investigators are to return to the home on Wednesday.
"[Scott] is not a suspect yet, nor has he been eliminated from the investigation," said Modesto police Detective Doug Ridenour. "Discoveries during the investigation necessitated this second search warrant."
No arrests are imminent, he said.
Dozens of detectives wearing gloves went in and out of the house. They scoured the yard and sheds on the property, as well as Peterson's white Dodge Ram truck, which was later impounded. Peterson bought the truck five weeks after his wife disappeared. His Ford 150 pickup truck and his 14-foot boat were impounded by police shortly after he reported his wife missing.
At one point, when there were no detectives inside the vehicle, Peterson could be seen staring silently at the truck, which stood just a few feet away from him with its doors open.
A witness reported seeing Peterson outside his house, holding a datebook and talking to investigators about his whereabouts on certain dates.
Investigators said Peterson was cooperative with them in the morning. They said he later took some personal and work-related items with him and left the home voluntarily while the search was under way. He came back later in the afternoon, handed police a paper, and left again.
Meanwhile, Laci's sister, Amy Rocha, was seen going into the house with authorities.
Peterson told police he last saw his wife the morning of December 24 when he left to go on a fishing trip alone about 85 miles away.
Police have verified that a receipt Peterson produced came from a parking lot at the marina where he said he was fishing.
In a December police news release, Peterson said he came home that night and found the family dog, with its leash on, in the back yard. A neighbor had found the dog earlier that day, authorities said, and put it in the yard. Peterson said his wife's purse was still in the house and that nothing had been disturbed.
Laci was due to deliver their son, to be named Connor, February 10.
Shortly after her disappearance, police announced that Laci Peterson was likely taken against her will.
The missing woman's family, which initially stood by her husband, has urged him to be more cooperative with police, especially after he acknowledged publicly that he was having an affair with another woman.
Laci Peterson has been missing since December 24.
In an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" Thursday, Laci's sister, brother and stepfather discounted Peterson's comments to reporters that Laci knew about the affair and was "OK" with it.
"Laci would have told someone about the affair," said her stepfather, Ron Grantski. "There's no doubt in my mind, if Scott said something to that effect, we would have known about it."
Meanwhile, Peterson's family told reporters that they believe Laci's disappearance is somehow connected to her pregnancy.
His family appeared briefly, without Peterson, at a news conference in San Diego, California.
"We can't ignore that Laci's pregnancy may have had something to do with her abduction," said Peterson's sister, Susan Caudillo, as she read a brief statement.
"Our families are once again asking for the public's help. It has been over seven weeks since Laci and the baby were taken from us. With her due date being this month, we feel it is critical to continue looking for Laci everywhere we can," Caudillo said.
Peterson's mother, Jackie, told reporters her son "is looking for Laci; that is his whole purpose, and he's continued to do that since day one."
Hundreds of volunteers have joined police and the FBI in searching for her.
Police have received more than 5,000 tips in the case.