At 5:48 p.m., Modesto Police received the call that Laci Peterson was missing. There was nothing unusual found in the
house to indicate anything had happened and Laci’s purse was still in the house. A neighbor had found Laci's golden
retriever out in front of the house earlier, with leash attached, and returned the dog to the backyard, not realizing
anything was amiss. Laci's husband, Scott, and family members began searching the park for Laci and called the Police.
Officers were held over past their regular shifts to look for Laci. Detectives, K-9s and officers on bikes converged
on the park, looking for clues. The Sheriff's Office helicopter searched from the sky.
On Christmas morning, additional assistance was received from the Water Rescue Units from Modesto City Fire Department
and Stanislaus Consolidated Fire. Modesto Police canines and equestrian teams were used to further the search along the
creek bed and in the park. The search for Laci continued to expand beyond the park and river area. "We have organized
volunteers for a systematic search and it is our hope to find Laci and bring her home," said Chief Roy Wasden. A tip
line is established at the Police Department.
A volunteer center is opened at the Red Lion Hotel. Volunteers join the search. Thousands of fliers with Laci's photo
and the reward information are posted. Friends and family established a $100,000 reward for Laci's safe return. An
anonymous donor made another $25,000 reward through the Carole Sund-Carrington Memorial Award Foundation. The search continued.
Neighbors from across the street return from holiday to find their home burglarized. A possible connection to Laci's
disappearance begins to be investigated.
Laci's disappearance begins to be investigated.
The Modesto Police Department announced they have expanded their search outside the urban area of Modesto. They state
that they are checking along Highway 132 and as far away as the Berkeley Marina. They have also started to contact
and interview all sex registrants in the area.
More than a thousand people attend a candlelight vigil at East La Loma Park.
Police released photos of Scott's vehicle and boat in an attempt to corroborate Scott's trip to the Berkeley Marina on
the day of Laci's disappearance.
Detectives announced that they had the suspects in custody who burglarized the home across the street from Laci's.
Detectives were able to verify that the burglary happened on the 26th and was in no way connected to Laci's disappearance.
Rural property owners, ranchers and farmers were urged to check their property.
Modesto Police announces an object found by side-scan sonar that might be a body.
Object turns out to be an anchor. The search continues to expand to other counties. Thousands of tips coming in on the
tip line continued to be investigated.
Laci's home was burglarized while Scott was out of town. Detectives quickly locate the suspect and verify that the
burglary was not related to Laci's disappearance.
In a press conference, Amber Frey came forward and announced that she had a recent relationship with Scott Peterson.
Laci's family announced that they would be organizing their own searches for the next three weekends.
Modesto Police conduct a second search warrant at the Peterson home.
Police requested the assistance of the media in keeping the area around the Peterson home clear. Media trucks had been
causing traffic problems and noise problems in the area.
Police announced they have received over 8,000 tips on their tip line, ranging from legitimate tips to people expressing
their opinions. The tips were documented and handled, with investigations being done on those necessary.
Modesto Police announced the Laci Peterson case had been reclassified as a homicide. "As the investigation has progressed,
we have increasingly come to believe that Laci Peterson is the victim of a violent crime" says the lead investigator,
Detective Craig Grogan. A reward of $50,000 is announced by the Carole Sund Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation for
information directly leading to the location and recovery of Laci.
Search of San Francisco Bay is suspended due to weather conditions.
A Stanislaus County Superior heard arguments regarding the unsealing of warrants in this case. He defers to an "in-camera"
date in order to fully judge this request for unsealing.
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Roger M. Beauchesne heard arguments in this case.
It is announced that the Superior Court will not release copies of the search warrants due to the fact that "…revelations
of confidential information contained in the warrants, affidavits and returns would irreparably harm the investigation,"
as stated by Judge Beauchesne in his ruling.
Modesto Police announced that they were notified by Contra Costa County that the body of a baby and an unidentified female
had been recovered in their area. They requested that Modesto Police confer with them on this case as they had been searching
in this area.
For further information on these stories, go to Laci Peterson Press Releases.
The outpouring of support for Laci's family has been overwhelming. Remembrances have been left on the lawn in front of the
Peterson house ever since the identification of Laci and Connor. Anyone wishing to send a card of condolence to the family
may send it care of the Sund-Carrington Foundation, 1508 Coffee Road, Suite H, Modesto, CA 95355.