Vacuum debris from living room/laundry area


Collected on: December 26, 2002

Collected by:  CSO Tech Doug Lovell under instruction by Det. Skultety, Crime Scene Manager

Evidence Item No.: 14

Reason:  Scott was seen vacuuming the area on December 25, 2002; suspected he was trying to clean up evidence

Received by:  California Department of Justice crime laboratory, Ripon, CA

Case No:  CV-02-010941

Tested by:  Pin Kyo

Bates No. for Report:

Results: No evidentiary value


Initial Suspicion


Stacey Boyers was interviewed by Detective Jon Buehler on December 27.  According to Buehler's report, Boyers was at the Peterson home on December 25 around 5 p.m. and observed Scott "doing an unusual amount of vacuuming" in the area in front of the washer and dryer.  This caused suspicion that Scott was still trying to clean up trace evidence.  Grogan seemed to be aware of Scott's vacuuming before Buehler's interview with Boyers, as he testified that he told Skultety on the 26th to use the special vacuum cleaner to vacuum that area. 


The testimony


Detective Skultety, the 523 Covena crime scene manager on December 26-27, 2002, instructed CSO Doug Lovell to vacuum the same area with a special vacuum specifically designed for the collection of evidence.  Lovell said he not only vacuumed the carpet in front of the washer and dryer but in the whole living room and also the furniture.  The Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner Scott used was also collected and tested. 


In addition, Skultety assigned the FBI to check the area around the washer and dryer and the living room area for any signs of a struggle.  None was observed. 


The test results


The debris was sent in for testing, and found to include hairs, fibers, piece of grass, dried leaves, red confetti-like material, one live flea, and dirt debris.


On cross examination, Geragos specifically asked Kyo if any traces of a blue tarp were found in either this vacuum debris or the Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner.

GERAGOS: And the reason you did that is you got it marked here looks like 216C. Now, one of the things that you were supposed to take a look at, or you were asked to take a look at, is to see whether or not there was any piece of blue tarp that was observed in the vacuum debris and Dirt Devil vacuum; is that correct?
KYO: Thatís correct.
GERAGOS: Okay. And your conclusion was, is that there were no pieces of blue tarp observed in the vacuum debris and Dirt Devil vacuum, correct?
KYO: Thatís right.



Scott was not engaged in any clean-up effort, but was simply performing household chores either to just pass the time or to keep the house clean in anticipation of Laci's return.