The public cost of bringing Scott Peterson to justice has topped $3 million, with expenses still being counted.
The Modesto Police Department this week raised its estimate on the highprofile case from $1 million to $1.55 million. Though the department had help from 90 other agencies, it spent well more than all of them to investigate the Christmas Eve 2002 disappearance of pregnant Laci Peterson. Her husband has been sentenced to death for murdering her and their unborn child.
"You can't put a dollar (amount) on justice," Assistant Chief Mike Harden said Wednesday.
Police ran down 10,000 telephone tips and contributed most of the 42,000 pages of reports prosecutors used in the case.
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Scott Peterson, 32, dumped his wife's body in San Francisco Bay but pretended to search for weeks with hundreds of volunteers. The remains of mother and son washed ashore in April 2003. A judge affirmed Peterson's death sentence March 16.
Prosecutors last week released their expenses, which came to $672,500, not including salaries. By contrast, most police costs came in payroll.
County officials continue refining estimates for salaries of prosecutors, sheriff's deputies and others who worked on the case.
The agencies continue to hope state lawmakers will reimburse some or all of the money. Hearings on the request are supposed to begin next month.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at 578-2390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.