Investigators probing the disappearance and murders of Laci Peterson and her unborn son knew the location of the victims’ bodies weeks before they washed ashore, according to a report in the Oakland Tribune.
Laci Peterson in July 2002
Police say they used side-scan sonar to locate the watery tomb in San Francisco Bay in March, not far from where Laci’s husband Scott said he had gone fishing Christmas Eve.
Authorities say before they could retrieve the bodies, they believe a heavily laden tanker passed over or near the burial spot, churning up the channel’s bottom and dislodging the sunken corpses.
The wind, waves and high tides influenced by the full moon – as well as gases from the deteriorating remains – combined to eventually bring the bodies to shore, according to the report.
“The waves came up and we couldn’t go down,” Modesto Police Chief Roy Wasden told the Tribune. “I can’t tell you the frustration we felt.”
And authorities remained tight-lipped about the sonar once the bodies came ashore April 13 and 14.
“We thought if the suspect knew we had found her, he might flee,” one law enforcement source said.
Scott Peterson is now in custody, facing a possible death penalty for two counts of murder, though he maintains his innocence.
Sources say the remains, possibly wrapped in some sort of plastic and held down by heavy material, were found by sonar deep in a shipping channel of the bay, some four miles off Brooks Island.
“When those remains washed up, it confirmed everybody’s suspicions,” a source told the paper. “We know where she was put, and it wasn’t in that shallow area around Brooks Island,” the source said.
“But when we got back out there, she was gone.”
Meanwhile, neighbors of Laci Peterson in Modesto, Calif., are under siege by members of the news media.
“You’re the 35th reporter to ring my doorbell,” Melville Ikerd told a Modesto Bee reporter who came to the door.
“Now when we hear the doorbell ring, we know it’s not a visitor, it’s a reporter.”