Missing Pregnant Woman’s Father Wants Husband Charged With Murder
— The father of missing pregnant woman Laci Peterson is not waiting for test results on a female torso and male fetus found on a San Francisco Bay-area beach to accuse his daughter's husband of murder.
"It's her husband Scott," Dennis Rocha said in a telephone interview with WBZ-TV in Boston. "He never looked me in the eye. And he never pleaded for her. He just shows no remorse."
Authorities are conducting tests to determine whether the torso and fetus found a mile apart on consecutive days are those of Laci Peterson, the 27-year-old Modesto, Calif., woman who disappeared on Christmas Eve, and her unborn son.
As Laci's family waits for the test results to return, her husband's whereabouts remain unclear. Scott Peterson, 30, a fertilizer salesman, hasn't surfaced publicly since the bodies were discovered.
Neighbors in the Modesto community where he and Laci lived have said they have not seen him in about a week. Modesto police previously said they do not know where he is, and now have no comment on his whereabouts.
Scott Peterson's relatives say they don't know where he is either. "What if Scott were here?" Scott's father, Lee Peterson, told reporters Tuesday at his house north of San Diego. "Is that a big deal?"
Scott Peterson told police he last saw Laci on the morning of Dec. 24 before he went fishing out of Berkeley Marina. Modesto police have said Scott is not a suspect in his wife's disappearance. But he has not been ruled out, either, especially by Laci's father. He believes Scott killed his daughter and unborn grandson and wants him charged with murder.
"That's what I want, some justice done here," Rocha told WBZ-TV. "I can't see Scott being out there free. That would just eat me up. It'll [the charges against Scott] happen very soon."
A high-ranking member of the investigation told ABCNEWS' Steffan Tubbs that police have many questions that only Scott Peterson can answer, and that even though the husband has not been labeled a suspect, a detective from the district attorney's office has been working side by side with investigators from the beginning. He is believed to be forming a possible case for prosecution.
DA Believes It’s Laci
Scott Peterson has acknowledged he was having an affair, but maintains he did not hurt his wife. Laci's family initially supported him, but after learning of the affair, they lost trust in him. Dennis Rocha suspects the affair was a motive in what happened to his daughter.
"They seemed like they got along real good," he said of his daughter and son-in-law. "Maybe Laci found out about the girlfriend or something."
Stanislaus County District Attorney James Brazelton told The Modesto Bee he believes the remains are those of Laci Peterson and her child.
"I feel pretty strongly it is [her]," he said."It's too much of a coincidence to have a female and a baby found close to each other a day apart, and no others were reported missing."
Genetic experts at the California attorney general's office are still working on the first step of determining whether or not they have extracted enough good-quality DNA to begin identification tests. They have determined that the baby's remains will provide sufficient material, and are still assessing the adult, officials said today.
"We've determined that we can yield a usable DNA profile from the fetus sample," said California Department of Justice spokesman Nathan Barankin. "We're doing a little more work on the adult sample to finally determine whether we will be able to get a usable DNA profile."
If officials find they don't have adequate amounts of DNA, they plan to take more samples from the state's coroner's office and repeat the process. If they do have viable samples, they will compare them with hairs from Peterson and cheek swabs from her parents. These comparisons may only take days.
Police sources told ABCNEWS the amount of decomposition and size of the remains are consistent with the time frame of Peterson's disappearance and her physical description, and that a nursing bra typically worn by women during late-term pregnancy was found on the remains.
There were no head or legs on the torso, and investigators said only a portion of the arms remained, so it was not possible to get fingerprints.
The torso was found Monday about 90 miles from the Petersons' Modesto home, after a dog found a bone on the beach at the Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond. A full-term, decaying male fetus with the umbilical cord still attached was found Sunday, about a mile away, according to the Contra Costa County coroner.
Laci Peterson was due to give birth on Feb. 10. She and Scott had already named unborn son Connor.
ABCNEWS affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles, ABCNEWS' Mike Gudgell, Steffan Tubbs and Taina Hernandez contributed to this report.