Police: Husband considered suspect in disappearance
November 9, 2007 (WLS) -- Bolingbrook Sergeant Drew Peterson is now considered a suspect in the case of his missing wife, according to Illinois State Police.
He was also relieved of duty and placed on suspension without pay, according to the Bolingbrook Police Department, pending the completion of an internal affairs investigation.
Stacy Peterson, 23, was last seen on October 28. She is Peterson's fourth wife. Because of his status with the Bolingbrook Police Department, Illinois State Police is leading the investigation into Stacy's disappearance.
Illinois State Police Captain Carl Dobrich said Peterson, 53, has moved from being a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife to "clearly being a suspect."
Dobrich also said the case was now a potential homicide investigation.
Stacey Peterson's family and friends want to remind people that she has still not been found and they are hoping that volunteers will gather Saturday morning to help with the search efforts. They will be meeting at the Westbrook Christian Church in Bolingbrook starting at 8:00 a.m.
Dozens of volunteers are aiding in the search for Stacy in and around her Bolingbrook home. Friends and family said she would never leave her two young children alone. Police are now looking at cell phone records to determine where both Peterson and Stacy were before she disappeared.
The change in the status of Peterson from 'person of interest' to 'suspect' comes as prosecutors got permission to exhume the body of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
"During the investigation of Stacy Peterson, new information concerning the Savio death investigation came to light. And that is being looked at in great detail," said Capt. Carl Dobrich, Illinois State Police.
Savio was found dead in her bathtub in 2004. The death was originally ruled accidental.
"Based upon what was available at the time, it was clear it was not accident," said James Glasgow, Will County State's Attorney. "With 29 years of experience, there was no doubt in my mind it wasn't an accident. That was clear."
In a petition the Will County state's attorney filed Friday listing the reasons authorities want to exhume Savio's body, prosecutors said a review of evidence in the case "is consistent with the 'staging' of an accident to conceal a homicide."
Prosecutors said they reviewed photographs of the crime scene and autopsy, the autopsy protocol, and police reports.
". . . The one-inch gash in the back of Kathleen Savio's head did not render her unconscious, which would have been necessary for her to accidentally drown in the bathtub," the petition stated.
Will County Circuit Court Judge Daniel J. Rozak signed the petition granting the exhumation Friday. It was not immediately clear when the body would be exhumed.
The Savio family hopes exhuming the body will give investigators evidence that will bring the family some peace and justice.
"There's only one person that stood to gain anything from her dying," said Melissa Doman, Savio's niece. "Her ex-husband, Drew."
Peterson denies involvement in either case.
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