- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2003

MODESTO, Calif., April 17 (UPI) — Family and friends of Laci Peterson continued to wait Thursday for the results of DNA testing that may confirm the identity of remains found in San Francisco Bay.

Also awaiting the results of the painstaking tests were Modesto homicide detectives who have said they don't know the whereabouts of Laci's husband, Scott, who has not been seen or heard from publicly since the discovery of the beached torso earlier this week.

"I don't know where he is at, and if I did know, I couldn't tell you," Detective Doug Ridenour, the spokesman for the tight-lipped Modesto Police Department, told reporters after the remains were recovered.

Scott Peterson has not been formally named as a suspect in his pregnant wife's disappearance on the day before Christmas nor has he been cleared. He has hired a criminal attorney and dropped out of sight.

There has been no comment by or sign of Scott Peterson since the torso and the male fetus were found in the same general area of the bay where he had said he had gone fishing on the day his wife vanished.

Although the identity of the remains has not been established, the chief prosecutor in Modesto told a newspaper that he was inclined to believe they were indeed those of the missing woman.

"I feel pretty strongly it is," Stanislaus County District Attorney James Brazelton said in the Modesto Bee's Thursday edition. "It is too much of a coincidence to have a female and a baby found close to each other a day apart and no others were reported missing. If I were a betting man, I'd put money on it."

Technicians at the California crime lab in Richmond were attempting to match both Laci's DNA and the DNA from the full-term fetus to the torso. The process is expected to take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

"There may be complications, and we haven't yet arrived at that point yet," Dr. John Tonkyn, supervisor of the lab's missing person's DNA section, told reporters.



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