Laci's Mother: Experience Has Been 'Horrific Nightmare'


Couric: Senseless Murder Captivates Nation

POSTED: 10:47 a.m. PDT June 9, 2003
UPDATED: 11:23 a.m. PDT June 12, 2003

In their first network interview since the discovery of Laci Peterson's body, members of Laci's family spoke with NBC's Katie Couric and shared new details about her life, her husband's actions and what they hope.

Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha, told Couric that her experience has been a horrific nightmare.

"There are nights where I wake up in the middle of the night. I wake up crying because I realize that Laci's gone and I won't see her again," Rocha said.

Laci's mother also said Laci wanted so much to have a baby and she wanted so much to be a mother.

It was on Christmas Eve when Scott Peterson called his mother-in-law, telling her that Laci was missing.

"He said: 'Hi Mom. Is Laci over there?' And I said "No." And he said: 'Well, Laci's missing,'" Rocha said.

During the first phone call Peterson didn't sound frantic at all. During the second phone call he was more concerned, Rocha said.

Shortly after, friends and family went searching for Laci at a nearby park where Scott said she had planned to walk their dog.

"I was just frantic. I was running around screaming her name. I was worried that someone may have attacked her and thrown her in the river," Rocha said.

One of Laci's friend told Couric when they began searching for Laci, Scott seemed scattered and concerned, making phone calls with his cell phone and when they would ask him questions, his answers were inconsistent.

Later, Laci's family said that it didn't know Scott was fishing Christmas Eve, the day Laci disappeared.

"I didn't know he went fishing. I assumed he was golfing because that's something he would usually do by himself. They did not know of Scott as one to go fishing by himself," Sharon said.

Initially, Laci's family supported Scott and his family, saying they believed in Scott's innocence.

Friends described Scott and Laci as being the perfect couple. Laci was a great gardener and cook. Friends enjoyed the couple's parties at their home.

But Couric reported that through the course of the search for Laci, her family shifted gears when it came to its feelings about Scott.

In January, Amber Frey came forward and admitted to having a relationship with Scott, but said she did not know that Scott was married.

"I was shocked. And I know Laci would be devastated," said Amy Rocha, Laci's half sister.

Laci's stepfather spoke with Scott before Frey came forward and asked him if he was having an affair.

"I asked him if he was seeing someone else. If he was having an affair instead of fishing and he said 'no.' So I said 'OK, I'll stand by you,'" Grantski said.

After Frey came forward, Scott admitted in an interview that he told Laci about the affair. However, Laci's mother disagrees.

"I don't think Laci knew. Friends around her would have noticed a difference about her if she knew," she said.

However, she said it's been "sad and awful" when they think about how their relationship has changed with Scott.

The family refused to comment about any details that would hinder the case. Family members also did not answer questions about Scott and about how he changed his appearance, had his brother's identification and $10,000 he had with him when he was arrested.

However, Laci's friends told Couric they were surprised and shocked by his appearance.

In the courtroom, Laci's family members say they have made no eye contact with Scott and that it's not uncomfortable for them to be in the same room with him.

When Couric asked Laci's family if it had its own theories as to what happened to Laci, her mother said that she "envisions terrible things." And to cope with it, she thinks of the good times and the times they spent together.

The family is confident that it will find justice for Laci and her unborn son.

"All I want is that the person who is responsible, the persons responsible, should be held accountable for it," Sharon said.