Autopsies conducted for possible link to Peterson case

04/14/2003 6:06 PM

11/20/2007 6:14 AM

Investigators are trying to determine if two bodies found in the East Bay Area in the last two days are connected to the Laci Peterson investigation.

East Bay Regional Park police contacted Modesto police after a body was discovered near the Point Isabel Regional Shoreline Monday. Jimmy Lee, spokesman for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, said he was told the body belonged to an adult female.

Sunday, the Richmond Police Department responded to a discovery by two people walking their dog, a dispatcher with the Richmond Police said. Those people found a "full-term male child," Lee said.

The baby was found about a mile north from where the adult body was discovered Monday. The infant’s body was described as badly decomposed.

Lee said the coroner’s office conducted an autopsy on the baby’s body this morning, but had not determined the cause of death. He said several tests were run on the body; results could take weeks.

Peterson, 27, was about eight months pregnant when she was reported missing on Christmas Eve. Police recently classified the case a homicide.

Peterson's husband, Scott Peterson, told police he went fishing at the Berkeley Marina and could not find his wife when he returned. Monday's discovery was just north of the Berkeley Marina, Lee said. Police have not named Scott Peterson as a suspect in the case, nor has he been cleared.

Monday afternoon, Scott Peterson’s mother, Jackie Peterson, said she called Modesto police after she heard media reports about today’s discovery, and police told her what they knew. Police had not yet arrived in Richmond, so what they told Peterson had not been confirmed. Peterson said she called her son to tell him. "We’re praying that it’s not Laci," she said.

"We of course feel bad for whoever it is," Peterson said by telephone from her home in San Diego County. "We pray for Laci’s sake, because we still don’t want to give up."

Laci Peterson’s family said police had not contacted them Monday afternoon, and they were awaiting word on the investigation.

See the full story in tomorrow’s Bee or www.modbee.com.

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