Here’s the latest from the Bolingbrook Reporter Newspaper’s Web site at http://www.mysuburbanlife.com as of Tuesday afternoon:
llinois State Police officials aren’t saying why their search for Stacy Peterson is now focused on waterways, but the search continues throughout three counties in the western suburbs.
State Police spokesman Mark Dorencz confirmed searches have been conducted in four townships of Will County, two townships in DuPage County and in Lemont Township in Cook County.
Aside from confirming the general locations of searches, authorities are remaining tight-lipped about specific areas and waterways being searched.
In a Monday news release, Illinois State Police said the FBI is now assisting in both the search for Stacy Peterson — missing since Oct. 28 — and the investigation into the death of Kathleen Savio, and also said “search efforts continue to be focused in waterways.”
The Illinois State Police are the lead investigative agency into the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, 23, wife of former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson, who has been named a suspect in the case by authorities.
According to Lt. Ken Teppel, spokesman for the Bolingbrook Police Department, Drew Peterson was an accomplished scuba diver himself, a fact that may have influenced investigators to focus on waterways as a potential hiding place for a body.
“Drew Peterson was a certified diver, and although our department has never had its own dive and rescue team, Drew Peterson had been involved in at least one search conducted in Bolingbrook for a cash register drawer that was supposedly tossed into a retention pond,” Teppel said. “He was an accomplished, certified diver.”
Teppel referred all other questions to state police.
Investigators also continue to probe the death of Savio, whose March 1, 2004, death initially was called an accidental drowning by a six-person Will County coroner’s jury.
Recently, State’s Attorney James Glasgow said the case is being investigated as a homicide, and Drew Peterson has been named a suspect in that case.
At the time of her death, Savio — who was found face down in an empty bath tub with a laceration to the back of her head — lived in the same subdivision as Drew Peterson and his fourth wife, Stacy.
Drew Peterson has denied any involvement in Stacy Peterson’s disappearance and Savio’s death.
Since the first day of search efforts, investigators have searched open spaces and waterways in and around the Bolingbrook area, which includes water-filled quarries, two rivers, several small streams, two commercial shipping canals, plus countless small ponds and lakes.
TexasEquuSearch, a nonprofit organization specializing in searches for missing persons, sent sonar-equipped boats to several locations in early November, including a private hunting/fishing club in Plainfield near 127th Street. Its search was unsuccessful.
Now the search efforts will include more FBI-supplied equipment.
“The FBI has numerous capabilities to conduct specialized searches, whether on land or in water,” the Nov. 26 release said.
No details were provided on the number of FBI personnel assigned to the cases or specific equipment.
State police have confirmed that heat-seeking airplanes have been used in extensive searches, but have not been successful in locating either Stacy Peterson’s body or her cell phone.
Dorencz had no comment when asked if Drew Peterson had taken a lie detector test in either case, citing the ongoing investigation.
State Police looking for public’s help
As the Illinois State Police–along with federal, other state and local law enforcement agencies–continues its search for Stacy Peterson, they are requesting the public’s assistance with any information regarding the two vehicles belonging to the Peterson family, which may have been seen between Sunday, Oct. 28, and Monday, Oct. 29 (see vehicle photos).
The first is a dark blue 2005 GMC Yukon Denali (belonging to Drew Peterson) with a sticker on the back window. The second vehicle is a purple 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix (belonging to Stacy Peterson).
Anyone with information on the location and/or occupants of these two vehicles is encouraged to contact the State Police Stacy Peterson tip line at (815) 740-0678.