Detectives thought Scott might have used poison


September 29, 2004


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Investigators in Laci Peterson's disappearance once considered the possibility the pregnant schoolteacher was poisoned to death by her husband to explain the absence of a bloody crime scene, according to testimony Tuesday.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos, who has sought to discredit the investigation into Laci's death, asked lead Detective Craig Grogan if at one point investigators theorized that Laci had been poisoned -- a theory that never panned out and has not been presented by prosecutors in court.

''Yes, we looked into that,'' said Grogan.

Prosecutors allege Scott Peterson killed his wife in their Modesto home on or around Dec. 24, 2002. Grogan, a prosecution witness, said police considered the poison theory because they were unable to find any signs of a struggle and found none of Laci's blood in the home.

Grogan testified that during a Feb. 18, 2003, search of the Petersons' home that police seized a mortar and pestle to examine them for the existence of any drugs. None was found, he said.

Defense lawyers are attacking the police investigation as incomplete and narrowly focused on Scott Peterson, pointing out failures by detectives to follow leads. AP