- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 11, 2003

BERKELEY, Calif., Jan. 11 (UPI) — The search for a missing California woman went back to square one Saturday after divers determined that an object on the bottom of San Francisco Bay was an old boat anchor and not the body of Laci Peterson.

The anchor had been picked up by sonar off a marina in Berkeley where Peterson's husband, Scott, had been fishing on Christmas Eve day at the time his wife, who is eight months pregnant, disappeared.

"There were no other objects located in the area," Modesto Police Sgt. Ron Clower told reporters who watched the recovery operation from the marina.

Volunteers at the search headquarters in Modesto broke into applause when it was announced that the object police had said was possibly a human body turned out to be a half-buried anchor.

The anchor was spotted on Thursday, however weather conditions and the need to give the exhausted dive team some rest delayed the inspection until Saturday.

Mrs. Peterson, 27, vanished Dec. 24 after her husband left to spend the day fishing. She apparently had planned to walk the family dog along a trail in a nearby park. Scott Peterson, who is not considered a suspect but has not been ruled out either, told police he found the golden retriever with its leash still attached outside the house when he returned late in the afternoon after being unable to reach her by telephone.

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