Scott Peterson used an alias to purchase a used car

UPDATED: 1:16 p.m. PDT April 24, 2003

SAN DIEGO -- Accused double murderer Scott Peterson used an alias to purchase a used car in San Diego shortly before he was arrested, raising the possibility that he may have been trying to cover his tracks before fleeing, NBC 7/39 learned.

Three independent sources confirmed that Scott Peterson bought a car under suspicious circumstances less than two weeks ago, NBC 7/39's Steve Walker reported. None of the sources would appear on camera, but all of them agreed that the revelation is more evidence that Peterson may have been getting ready to run.

Peterson Accused Of Buying Car

According to the sources, Peterson found the car by thumbing through the pages of the San Diego Auto Trader. The burgundy 1984 Mercedes-Benz was advertised with an asking price of $5,000.

The car's seller confirmed that Peterson eventually bought the car, but a source familiar with the transaction told NBC 7/39 that it was anything but ordinary. Peterson reportedly went to the owner's apartment in Ocean Beach and negotiated the sale price down to $3,600.

Sources said that Peterson left after reaching a deal and used the Internet to download the necessary paperwork for the sale from the Department of Motor Vehicles. He returned with 36 $100 bills and drove away with the car, they said.

Sources said that one aspect of the transaction drew their attention. Peterson gave a Florida driver's license number and didn't use his real name, instead claiming his first name was Jacqueline. When questioned about it, Peterson said it was a family name.

Jacqueline is the name of Scott Peterson's mother.

About a week after the car purchase, Peterson was arrested at Torrey Pines Golf Course, He was driving the burgundy Mercedes-Benz.