By Danya Hooker, firstname.lastname@example.org
A friend of Drew Peterson’s step-brother appeared Thursday before a special grand jury investigating the disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife and the death of his third wife.
Although Walter Martineck Jr. of Bolingbrook declined to discuss his grand jury appearance Thursday, his story made headlines in late November when he told media outlets about a bizarre encounter with his friend and neighbor Tom Morphey, Drew Peterson’s step-brother.
Martineck said a distraught Morphey came to his home the night Stacy Peterson disappeared and told Martineck he believed he had just helped his step-brother dispose of his wife’s body. Morphey allegedly said he helped Drew Peterson move a large blue barrel from the Peterson’s home to his step-brother’s SUV. Martineck said Morphey believed the barrel contained Stacy Peterson’s body because it was warm to the touch.
Shortly after the confession, Morphey allegedly attempted suicide, prompting Martineck to tell state police about the incident two days after Stacy Peterson disappeared on Oct. 28.
The statement led investigators and private search teams on an extensive search for the elusive blue barrel.
Al and Betty Morphey, Drew Peterson’s mother and step-father, testified before the grand jury on March 20 but also declined to discuss their testimony.
Drew Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police officer, is considered a suspect in his wife’s disappearance, which police are calling a potential homicide. The case lead investigators to revisit the March 2004 drowning of Peterson’s third wife Kathleen Savio, which was recently ruled a homicide.
Peterson has denied any wrongdoing in either case and has not been charged with a crime.