Peterson: Preliminary Trial

July 8, 2003

No tie between Peterson case, woman's death, say Vegas cops

Las Vegas authorities said Monday they have "not a shred of evidence" linking the dismemberment of a woman there to the slaying of Laci Peterson of Modesto.

Las Vegas Police Lt. Tom Monahan confirmed that he had contacted Modesto police after Perry Monroe was arrested for the Nevada murder.

But, Monahan added that he told Modesto authorities, "We have uncovered no evidence that suggests (a serial killer)."

Some observers with legal backgrounds have said it would be worthwhile for Scott Peterson's defense team to thoroughly investigate the Monroe case.

Peterson, 30, faces the death penalty if convicted of killing his 27-year-old wife and their unborn son.

Monroe, 29, was arrested in Fresno the day after a woman's torso was recovered from a fishing pond near Las Vegas on June 23.

Monroe is a resident of Alameda, an island city in San Francisco Bay. That body of water yielded the torso of Laci Peterson in April, as well as that of Evelyn Hernandez a year ago, who was days shy of delivering a baby when she went missing in May 2002.

Also, Monroe had studied for a short time at the University of California, Davis, and a trash bin in that city yielded parts of dismembered bodies in June.

"That's all circumstance and not a shred of evidence," Monahan said Monday.

Scott Peterson's lead defense attorney, Mark Geragos of Los Angeles, refused to comment on the Monroe case, citing a court-imposed gag order. Modesto police have refused to discuss the matter for the same reason.

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

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