Missing Pregnant Woman's Father Launches Blistering Attack on Son-in-Law
by David Thompson
"He's a liar and a Cheat!" Dad opens up Family Photo Album There are pictures of Laci as a toddler that are heartbreaking. One on a motorcycle with her brother, another of her on a horse, and also as a toddler with her dad.
"Every word that comes out of Scott's mouth is a lie! He's a liar and a cheat, so why should we believe anything this man says when he's been cheating on my daughter?" That's the furious charge that missing Laci Peterson's heartbroken dad, Dennis Rocha, makes about his son-in-law Scott, in an exclusive interview with the Globe.
"I just want my beautiful daughter back," says Dennis, 56, who opened his heart and family photo album to us at his central California farm. "I want to kiss and hold her again and tell her I love her." "I fear the worst. I think none of us will ever see Laci again. It's been too many days already. I'm hoping for the best."
Laci, 27, vanished on Christmas Eve from her home in Modesto, California. She was eight months pregnant and due to deliver her and husband Scott's baby boy, already named Connor, Feb.10th. "In the beginning, the rest of Laci's family were behind Scott all the way," reveals Dennis, choking back tears. "But I've had a gut feeling right from the start that he had something to do with it."
Scott, 31, claims he was on a fishing trip at the time. And initially denied he'd been having an affair. "Scott isn't telling everything he knows", declares Dennis. "He only admitted to having a girlfriend when he had no choice. "And he would never look me in the eye. That says a lot about a man". Dennis says the rest of the family, including her mother Sharon, 51, and her half sister Amy, 22, haven't spoken with Scott since hearing of his affair. Sharon was the last member of the family to speak with Laci when they chatted by phone at 8:30 p.m. the night before she vanished.
Dennis and Sharon were divorced when Laci was 2, but she still spent many happy hours riding horses on her dad's 40-acre ranch in Escalon, Calif., and has always enjoyed the outdoor life. "She was always surrounded by love," says Dennis. "She's been the most amazing and loving daughter any father could wish for."
Laci developed a cyst on one of her ovaries when she was 8, so the doctors removed the ovary--which made it even more special when she learned she was going to have a baby. "We feared she might not be able to have children, so when it happened it was like a miracle for us," says Dennis. "Laci was the happiest woman alive. It was her dream come true--meanwhile Scott was cheating on her."
Since Laci's mysterious disappearance, family and friends have helped raise a $500,000 reward. Dennis has also had support from Modesto resident Susan Levy, mom of murdered Washington intern, Chandra Levy. "She's been out to my farm to visit me twice," says Dennis. "She's a remarkable woman who's still suffering from her loss."
Now Dennis makes an emotional appeal to Globe readers: "Please, please help us find Laci. I'll never be able to rest until we find her. It's just eating me up inside not knowing where she is."