Peterson: Preliminary Trial

August 1, 2003

Source: Peterson rented private mailbox Dec. 23

The Postal Service has turned over to prosecutors an application that Scott Peterson filled out in connection with his rental of a private mailbox on Dec. 23, according to a source familiar with the application.

The Stanislaus County district attorney's office, which contends that Peterson killed his pregnant wife, Laci, on Dec. 23 or Dec. 24, declined to comment on Peterson's mailbox rental. Chief Deputy District Attorney John Goold cited the court-imposed gag order in the case.

The Postal Service application indicates that Peterson rented the box at Mailboxes Etc., now called The UPS Store, in The Shops at Lincoln Square shopping center near downtown Modesto. Store manager Laura Rogers said federal law prevented her from confirming whether Peterson had rented a box.

Anyone who rents a private mailbox must complete a Postal Service form authorizing the post office to deliver mail through a private agent. Those forms are forwarded to the Postal Service, which keeps them on file in the event that postal inspectors ask for them, Modesto Postmaster Don Reddig said.

Someone close to the Peterson family said Peterson used the mailbox for correspondence in connection with his work as a fertilizer salesman for Tradecorp.

But the source who claims to have seen the application said it lists Peterson's name only and his home address, 523 W. Covena Ave., Modesto, not a business name or address.

The source said Peterson's private mailbox came to light Wednesday after the Postal Service received a notice indicating that Peterson's six-month contract on the private box had expired. A postal employee looked at the application and saw that the box had been rented Dec. 23.

The Postal Service relayed that information to a postal inspector, who instructed employees to contact prosecutors, the source said.

Bee staff writer John Coté can be reached at 578-2394 or

Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at 578-2390 or

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