Investigators in San Luis Obispo said Saturday they found no link between Scott Peterson and a missing Cal Poly student.
Peterson is the husband of Laci Peterson, a 27-year-old Modesto woman who has been missing since Christmas Eve.
On Friday, San Luis Obispo sheriff's detectives said they were looking to see if there are any links between Peterson and 19-year-old Kristin Smart, who disappeared while both attended California Polytechnic State University in 1996. Laci Peterson also attended Cal Poly.
Sheriff Patrick Hedges issued a statement Saturday that said investigators there found nothing to tie Scott Peterson to their case.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Modesto Bee
"Investigators are not looking at Scott Peterson in connection with the disappearance of Kristin Smart," the recorded statement said. "After consulting with investigators working on the Laci Peterson case, we have determined there is no basis to shift the focus of investigation in the Smart case."
Also Saturday, it was announced that a Southern California volunteer effort to get the word out about Laci Peterson will go on today after all.
Brad Saltzman, manager of Modesto's Red Lion Inn, will coordinate a one-day volunteer center at the Doubletree Hotel in Westwood at the behest of Scott Peterson.
Organizers had scheduled one-day efforts in Southern California this weekend and next, but canceled those plans Friday, a day after the Modesto volunteer center closed.
The local center shut down earlier than planned after Laci Peterson's side of the family distanced themselves from Scott Peterson amid reports that he had conducted an affair with another woman and had taken out a $250,000 life insurance policy on his wife.
Peterson, 30, denied the reports in an interview with a television reporter Friday, and said he was going to open up his own volunteer center and "find my wife and my kid."
Peterson, who has not returned calls from The Bee, gave Saltzman the go-ahead Saturday to distribute the fliers in Southern California. It came a day after Saltzman said the intense media coverage had made the Southern California volunteer center unnecessary.
"Going down here was Scott's decision," Saltzman said Saturday, adding that Peterson will be at the center along with his parents and sister. "We've blanketed the Northern California area with fliers, but we haven't done anything in Southern California."
But Laci Peterson's father, Dennis Rocha, questioned the purpose of the Southern California effort.
"I don't see why they need to open it for one day down there," Rocha said Saturday. "(Southern Californians) know about the coverage as well as we do here. I don't know what the purpose would be. It's 360 miles from here. I'd rather see them keep this one open (in Modesto)."
Saltzman said Saturday that while residents down south might have seen televised reports, the fliers could be more effective.
Modesto police Detective Doug Ridenour said Peterson's decision to dispense fliers in Southern California has no impact on the investigation here.
"It was never a question of law enforcement," Ridenour said. "It's a question of volunteers wanting to get the word out in Southern California. It doesn't change our focus at all."
The volunteer center at the Red Lion in Modesto closed Thursday and will not reopen, a spokeswoman for Laci Peterson's family said.
Volunteers confront solicitors
In other developments, search volunteers confronted people from another organization who had posted fliers about Laci Peterson in front of the Target store on Sisk Road in Modesto on Thursday. The people were raising funds, but it was not for the volunteer search effort to find Peterson.
Saltzman said that while the action is not illegal, it is deceptive.
The table in front of Target was run by the Community Shield Corp., a nonprofit Ceres organization raising money to build a center for children from low-income families, said Charles Marcum, president of the group.
He said the Thursday confrontation was a big misunderstanding.
"We were just trying to spread the word about Peterson," he said. "I told all the volunteers to tell donors that we are not affiliated with the Peterson cause but are just trying to help out."
Bee staff writer Daryl Farnsworth and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
For more on The Bee's coverage of the Laci Peterson case:www.modbee.com