On April 14, 2003, a decomposing body of a woman was found washed up the shore of San Francisco Bay. A day before then, it was a body of an infant that was found at the shore only a mile away. Upon investigations, it was discovered that the bodies belonged to a woman, Laci Peterson who was 8 months pregnant when she got missing on December 24, 2002, and that of the baby she was carrying.
Many years after the deaths, the event is not finally buried as her husband who has been sentenced to death for the murder is still fighting his last legal battles to be set free, claiming he is innocent. Here is all there is to know about the events surrounding the tragedy.
Who is Laci Peterson?
Laci Denise Peterson is an American woman who was born on May 4, 1975, in Modesto, California. Her parents, Sharon Ruth Anderson and Dennis Robert Rocha got separated barely a year after she was born. She had two siblings, Brent Rocha, and a half-sibling, Amy.
Laci attended Thomas Downey High School and after she graduated, she moved to California Polytechnic State University. It was while she was at Cal Poly that she met Scott Peterson. By 1996, the two were already engaged and by 1997, they got married. That was even before Laci was through with her education.
Although they tried having children, Laci did not take in until 2002 shortly before they scheduled for fertility tests.
The murder of Laci Peterson – Everything You Need to Know
The story had it that on December 24, 2002, Scott Peterson returned home to the absence of his wife who was at the time, eight months pregnant. Believing that she had gone to see her mother, he dialed the number but was told she was not there. Sensing that something could be amiss, her father called the police to report that she as missing.
As the search began in earnest to locate the pregnant 27-year old Laci, the police did not have her husband Scott who was then 30 years old as a suspect. In fact, he had been fingered by some as a suspect in the case but the family of Laci rubbished the entire claims since he had been very cooperative all through.
With over a thousand and five hundred people actively involved in searching for her, nothing still came up. However, everything changed on April 13, 2003, 4 months after the disappearance when the body of a male fetus which was well preserved washed up the shores of San Francisco and the next day, that of a woman was found. The body of the woman which was found without forearms and the left leg missing was reported to be that of Laci Peterson.
Based on the medical examiner’s reports, Laci suffered injuries including two cracked ribs even before she died and that her son left her uterus following the decomposition of her uterus.
The person who immediately became the suspect was a fertilizer salesman who was also her husband, Scott Peterson. The main reasons why he became the suspect was not because the bodies were found exactly where Scott had gone fishing, but also because he was believed to have been the last person to see her and because of the numerous extramarital affairs he was having.
Few days after the bodies of Laci Peterson and her baby were found, Scott was arrested near a golf course in La Jolla. Although he claimed he was off to catch up with his brother and father for a game, he had dyed his hair from dark brown to blonde and he had with him close to 15 thousand in cash and other things to suggest he is on the run including camping equipment and four cell phones. Because of all these, the police had reason to suspect he was fleeing to Mexico.
Scott Peterson was arraigned on April 21, 2003, and by November 12, 2004, he was convicted of the first and second-degree murders of his wife and their son, Conner. The motive of the crimes was said to be so that he could get married to Amber Frey whom he was having an affair with. Since then Scott has always maintained that he is innocent of the crimes. Although his family believes him, not too many others do. Do you?
Scott has filed various appeals to have the sentencing overturned, but so far, nothing has worked for him. His legal team is still working as of 2018 to have the sentence overturned.
Following the Murder of Laci Peterson, the Laci and Conner’s Law (Unborn Victims of Violence Act) was passed by the US Congress and was signed by President George W. Bush on April 1, 2004.