By Danya Hooker
The family of Kathleen Savio, third wife of former Bolingbrook Police Sgt. Drew Peterson, has set up a Web site to gather information and tips regarding her 2004 death.
“We’re trying to get anybody that knows anything about her death to contact Illinois State Police,” Savio’s younger brother Nick, 25, said.
Savio’s body was found in a bathtub at her Bolingbrook home in March 2004, while she and Peterson were finalizing their divorce settlement.
A coroner’s jury ruled her death an accidental drowning in May 2004, but authorities exhumed her body from Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside Nov. 13 after Peterson became a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.
Savio’s sister, Sue Savio Doman, of Machesney Park, said her family never believed the drowning was accidental.
“We felt like our hands were tied,” Savio Doman said. “We felt like her, and no one would help us.”
Savio Doman said Kathleen Savio, known as Kitty to her family, had tried multiple times to get help from the abusive relationship with Drew Peterson. Bolingbrook police responded to 18 domestic calls within two years to the couple’s home. In some cases, Savio had accused Peterson of beating her but no charges were ever filed against him. Peterson did however file charges twice against Savio. She was acquitted both times.
Her sister said the family launched the Web site on Monday, which is taking donations for battered women’s shelters, to help make sure other women in Savio’s position find the help they need.
“We’re not going to get her back but she would be so happy to help someone else,” Savio Doman said.
Meanwhile, her family is still awaiting the official results of the second autopsy performed after her body was exhumed.
Dr. Larry Blum with the Will County Coroner’s Office performed the second autopsy, the results of which have not yet been released.
Shortly after Blum performed the autopsy, the Will County Coroner’s Office issued a release stating that the autopsy revealed “nothing to contradict a change relative to drowning as the cause of Kathleen Savio’s death.”
The released did not, however, indicate whether the drowning was considered accidental.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden later performed a separate autopsy at the request of Savio’s family. He determined the cause of death to be homicide.
Although Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow is not expected to make the official autopsy results public, he said two bruises on Savio’s body — one on her elbow and one on her buttocks — did not seem consistent with a fall on a smooth surface, as in her bath tub. He has publicly stated that Savio’s death may have been staged to look like an accident.
Nick Savio, of Hammond, Ind., said he hopes someone with information about his sister’s death will come across the Web site and contact police. Anyone with information is asked to call Illinois State Police at (815) 740-0678.
Although the site hasn’t generated any tips yet, it has proven there is still intense interest in his sister’s case.
“We got a lot of beautiful e-mails — a lot of support,” Nick Savio said. “The first day we had it, we had 120 hits on the Web site.”
To view Savio’s Web site visit http://www.kathleenkittysavio.com.