Police Investigate Possible Laci Peterson Sighting

Store Clerk Says Pregnant Woman Said She Was Kidnapped

POSTED: 8:51 a.m. PST January 31, 2003
UPDATED: 6:51 p.m. PST January 31, 2003
Police in Washington state reviewed surveillance tapes Friday from a grocery store where a clerk said she may have spotted a missing pregnant Modesto woman, but said the tapes revealed nothing of significance.

A grocery store clerk in Longview, just north of the Oregon border, said she thinks Laci Peterson came through her checkout line accompanied by an older man sometime in December.

The clerk told authorities that when the man stepped out of line to get something, the woman told her she had been kidnapped and asked her to call police when they left. A police report said the clerk intended to do that -- but got distracted and forgot.

The clerk apparently recognized Peterson, 27, from news reports and came forward last week.

"My impression of it was that she believed that it quite possibly was her ... she was pretty sure that it was her," Longview Police Department Det. Cindi Johansen said.

Police said the clerk told them she feels terrible about not coming forward earlier.

Laci Peterson disappeared from her home in Modesto on Christmas Eve.

Scott Peterson, 30, has told investigators he last saw his wife the morning of Dec. 24.

Police have not named Peterson as a suspect in his wife's disappearance, but attention has focused on him, in part because he admits he told his wife he was having an affair shortly before she vanished.

Laci Peterson's family asked the public to light a candle for Laci and her unborn son Connor at 7 p.m. Friday.