Modesto police on Thursday asked the public for help corroborating the story of a Modesto man who reported his pregnant wife missing Christmas Eve.
Police released photos of Scott Peterson's truck, boat and boat trailer, asking anyone who saw Laci Peterson's husband the two days before Christmas to call the Police Department.
"Investigators need more information to confirm or corroborate Mr. Peterson's story," said Detective Doug Ridenour. "We want to eliminate him from this investigation. If we have an independent witness who saw him that morning, that would help."
Scott Peterson has told police he went fishing at the Berkeley Marina on Christmas Eve morning and could not find his wife when he returned.
Ridenour said forensic evidence has been taken from both Scott Peterson's boat and truck. The evidence was sent to a Department of Justice lab, Ridenour said, and it could take detectives as long as 60 days to receive the results.
Thursday night, Sgt. Ed Steele said police had received several substantial leads, but offered no details about the leads, which were among 1,100 calls to police regarding Laci Peterson's disappearance.
"They're not the type of things that are going to break the case open," Steele said. "But from what investigators were saying, they believed the tips to be credible."
Scott Peterson has told police he last saw his wife the morning of Dec. 24 as he left for the fishing trip.
Police have been asked repeatedly at news conferences whether Scott Peterson had taken or been asked to take a lie-detector test to help rule him out as a suspect.
"Polygraph would be a tool that we would incorporate in this case," Police Chief Roy Wasden said. "In many crimes, you want to evaluate statements by the use of polygraphs. It's a helpful investigative tool."
Last week, Ridenour said investigators would pursue a lie-detector test. During the past few days, however, he has refused to say whether detectives had asked Scott Peterson to take a polygraph.
Asked Thursday if Scott Peterson still was cooperating with police, Ridenour said: "He has continued to cooperate to some degree, yes. I cannot elaborate on that."
While police said they hope to find Laci Peterson safe, they now believe her disappearance was the result of foul play.
"Each day we become a little more pessimistic," Sgt. Ron Cloward said. "The odds are working against us, but we're holding onto the same hope the family is."
After a relatively light search effort on New Year's Day, volunteers and law enforcement Thursday resumed their widespread efforts to find Laci Peterson, including divers searching the waters near Berkeley Marina.
The Police Department and Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department have applied all available resources to the missing-person case, a commitment that has come with a substantial cost.
Ridenour said Police Department employees have accrued about $40,000 in overtime as a result of the case. Lt. Jim Silva said the Sheriff's Department has spent about $20,000.
Police ask anyone with information about Scott Peterson's whereabouts between Dec. 23 and Christmas to call 342-6166. His truck is a brown 2002 Ford F150, license plate 6T59718. His 14-foot aluminum boat can be towed behind the pickup.
Bee staff writer Ty Phillips can be reached at 578-2331 or email@example.com.