MURDERED IN HER OWN KITCHEN
DID HUBBY MOP UP EVIDENCE OF HER TRAGIC END?
APRIL 8, 2003
BY DAVID WRIGHT
New forensic tests have convinced investigators that pretty mom-to be Laci Peterson was murdered in her home, GLOBE has learned. Traces of vomit speckled with blood matching 8-months-pregnant Laci's DNA were found on a kitchen mop--a chilling indication that she may have suffered from a blow before her death. And the discovery has led cops to the conclusion that the petite substitute teacher never took the walk with her dog that Scott told police she took when he left their house at 9:30 a.m. Dec.24th. "They believe Laci was probably dead by then," said a case source.
The net around the killer is closing. The police file on the case was submitted to the District Attorney's office in Modesto, March 10, Globe has learned. "The deputy DA on the case will make a decision on whether the police will have sufficient evidence to make an arrest'" says the source.
For weeks, investigators have quietly been building their theory that 27 year old Laci died in the home where she'd been proudly preparing a nursery. "But the discovery of thin vomit on the mop police believe Scott used to clean the kitchen floor Dec.24 was a shock", says a source close to the family. "There were blood specks in the vomit. There seems to be no reason for a woman so far on in her pregnancy to throw up stomach fluids. And you can bet that if something that alarming had happened naturally, the first thing she would have done was call her mother in panic. They're very close and her mom would have been there in a heartbeat."
The cops believe that Laci may have been struck a blow hard enough to make her throw up. The source adds, "The presence of the vomit brings up the nightmare scenario that this beautiful young woman was punched in the stomach prior to her death."
And area resident Connie Fleeman has told Modesto police that Scott acted extremely weird when she encountered him between 9 and 10 the very morning when he claimed he was fishing and just hours before Laci's family reported she had disappeared. The woman says she pulled up beside him at a red light to tell him something appeared to be ready to fall out of the bed of his truck. "He gave me a look that was the most horrifying, scary look I have ever seen in my life," says Fleeman. "as I'm trying to tell him the stuff is hanging out, the light turned green. He floored that truck and took off so fast, you wouldn't believe it."
Meanwhile, the discovery of the vomit traces was one factor that led to the sudden swoop on the Peterson house by police with a search warrant Feb. 18, GLOBE has learned. "Among the dozens of bags of evidence they took away were some containing sections of carpet cut from inside the house, reveals the source.
The new forensic evidence comes on top of a host of alarming clues pointing to the murder being committed in the house. Scott had been mopping the kitchen floor even though it had been washed the day before. He also vacuumed carpets, washed his clothes and changed in to clean ones. "When police got a second search warrant for the house in Feb., it was significant that they openly refered to the house as a crime scene.
The most closely guarded secret the cops have is what Laci was wearing up until just after 8 pm the evening before she disappeared because she and Scott were caught on a surveillence video at the beauty salon where her 21 year old sister Amy works. The key question is: "Were the clothes that she wore at the salon found in the house when police searched it after Laci vanished?" If they weren't there, it would indicate Laci never got undressed for bed that night and that she left the house, alive or dead, still wearing them.
One clue to the answer may lie in the fact that when cops searched the house Feb. 18th they brought Amy Rocha with them and she spent two hours inside helping the searchers. "When she finally came out, she was in tears."