Peterson case hangs heavy on one father

March 12, 2003 

Ron Frey came to Modesto this week to visit one daughter and to see for himself the place where a missing person case swept up another.

Amber Frey was caught in a media maelstrom when she divulged that she had a romantic relationship with Scott Peterson, husband of Laci Peterson, who has been missing since Christmas Eve.

"Scott said that he had lost his wife," Ron Frey said Tuesday. "He used and hurt my daughter, and I'm very angry about that."

Frey, a resident of Fresno, pulled a small photo out of his wallet. The picture shows 30-year-old Peterson in a black tuxedo and Amber Frey, then 27, in a red, strapless dress. They are holding each other and smiling in front of a Christmas tree.

When the Peterson case hit the news, Frey said, his family did not realize that the Scott Peterson being mentioned was the same person whom Amber Frey was dating.

Ron Frey's oldest daughter, Ava, made the connection. She lives in Modesto, not far from Scott and Laci Peterson's home on Covena Avenue; she said she did not know them.

"I had this picture on my refrigerator and it took me three days to realize the guy in the picture was the same guy in the newspaper," Ron Frey said.

In January, police called a press conference where they put Amber Frey behind the microphones and cameras. She said that she had had an affair with Peterson but did not know that he was married at the time.

That day, her world turned upside down, Ron Frey said.

"There were reporters who staked out our house for three days hoping to get an interview," he said. "Things have started to calm down in the past week."

He said his daughter is planning a weeklong vacation to recuperate from the ordeal.

Ron Frey said he deals with dozens of media calls every day from reporters hoping to get the first exclusive, one-on-one interview with Amber Frey.

Investigators have asked her not to talk, he said.

"I want to walk through (East La Loma) park to see what it's about," Frey said Tuesday. "I really don't know much about the case."

According to Scott Peterson, he last saw his wife at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 24 as she prepared to walk their dog in East La Loma Park, and as he left for a fishing trip out of Berkeley. Laci Peterson, 27, was eight months pregnant at the time; her due date passed in mid-February.

Last week police changed the classification of the case from missing person to homicide.

Frey said his daughter might eventually speak out on the case. But he said he does not really understand all the attention.

"The story isn't about me or about Amber," he said. "The story is that Laci Peterson is missing."

Bee staff writer Patrick Giblin can be reached at 578-2347 or pgiblin@modbee.com.

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