Weather halts search of bay for Peterson

March 14, 2003 

RICHMOND -- High wind and choppy water Thursday prevented investigators in the Laci Peterson homicide case from continuing their search off Brooks Island in San Francisco Bay.

Modesto police had planned to use a sonar device and divers, but canceled the search at about 10:30 a.m.

"The weather conditions require us to discontinue the search," Sgt. Ron Cloward said.

The wind came with the front of a storm that forecasters said would bring rain for five days.

Investigators would not say how long they had been on the bay in the latest search. Police used sonar and divers in the bay in early January, and reporters saw Wednesday that investigators were back.

Gene Ralston, who claims to be involved in the search, said Wednesday that sonar had detected something of interest, but police did not know what it was. Ralston said police hired him and his sonar gear.

Laci Peterson, 27, was eight months pregnant when she was reported missing Dec. 24. Her husband, Scott, told detectives that he went fishing off Brooks Island that day.

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