Stacy Peterson search going on in Hammel Woods

UPDATE 11/07/12:

The search is on its third day as FBI and ISP investigators continue their efforts in Shorewood.

Tweets started to fire up about four hours ago that FBI and ISP investigators were working in Shorewood today.

State police Capt. Michael Cooke has confirmed that a search related to the Stacy Peterson case was taking place in Hammel Woods, part of the Crumby Recreation Area. The Herald-News reported that Stacy’s sister, Cassandra Cales, was on the scene this afternoon.

ISP officials stated that nothing was found today but will resume at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Those following the case will remember that at the time of Stacy Peterson’s disappearance, Shorewood was the home of Stacy’s friend Scott Rossetto. Rossetto testified at a pre-trial hearing that he and Stacy had a flirtatious relationship and that she had confided in him that Peterson had killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and that she had given him a false alibi when questioned.

Peterson’s step-brother Thomas Morphey also testified at the same hearing that in late October 2007, Peterson had discussed with him leaving Stacy’s car near Rosetto’s home in order to frame him for Stacy’s murder. Records of cell phone calls from Stacy’s phone to Drew Peterson’s on the night that Stacy disappeared, placed her phone in the Shorewood area.

Morphey said that on the night of Stacy’s disappearance Drew Peterson dropped him off in Bolingbrook park, gave him a cell phone to hold and then drove away. Later, when the phone rang several times, the call was identified as “Stacy”.

For a number of years the Guardian Angels Community Service agency’s domestic violence program, Groundwork, has held a 5k walk against domestic violence in Hammel Woods. Strange to think that the Angels for Stacy Peterson may have walked in the very areas where evidence in her case may have been secreted.

I’ll update here if and when I hear more. Meanwhile feel free to comment.

Shorewood Patch
Herald News

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62 thoughts on “Stacy Peterson search going on in Hammel Woods

  1. The sister of convicted murderer Drew Peterson’s missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, appeared at Hammel Woods Monday afternoon, shortly after investigators scoured the 400-acre Will County forest preserve near Shorewood.

    State police Capt. Michael Cooke confirmed detectives had searched the woods as part of an ongoing investigation, but would not comment further. The FBI helped in the search, which ended by 4 p.m.

    Stacy Peterson’s sister, Cassandra Cales, arrived soon after the search was completed. She said she had heard about the search, but had not been called by authorities. Cales left a few minutes later without speaking to investigators.

  2. The day-long search in a Shorewood forest preserve by boat, with dogs and a helicopter on Monday was for Drew Peterson’s missing wife, Stacy Peterson, according to law enforcement sources.

    Stacy Peterson, 23, disappeared in Oct. 2007. She was Drew’s fourth wife. Investigators previously tracked cell phone activity from Stacy’s number to the Shorewood area about the time she was last seen.

    The search on Monday in Hammel Woods is not believed to be linked to new information or specific tips and an Illinois State Police source said that they did not find a body.

    The ISP was assisted on Monday by the FBI. Neither agency would speak officially about the operation-except to say it was part of an on-going criminal investigation.

  3. I guess they have to say that the search was not triggered by any new information, but does anyone really believe that they would decide to gather up everyone (plus dogs, boats and a helicopter) and search the area just…because?

    I don’t.

  4. Geez……..I wonder if Joel made some vague comment, seein’ as how he’s not really a part of the “team” anymore and all……

    I could see Joel doing something like that just to make Drew squirm…

    Two peas in a pod…….

  5. what a sick bunch of people…I so hope they find her…brodsky needs to go to jail….I hope drew doesn’t sleep for years…constantly looking over his shoulder..he deserves the best jail has to offer…

  6. I really, really hope they find Stacy. I’m not holding my breath though. There have been numerous occasions since 2007 where they have searched for her without result.

    I wonder if Joel has been indulging in a little breach of attorney/client privilege!

  7. I think brodsky will stop at nothing to stay in the picture….his love for media attention will allow him to use others not himself….to report information….so he and only he can answer…he is an idiot but a sly idiot….

  8. Hello and good morning everyone…

    As the search for Stacy resumes today I am praying with all my heart and soul that she will be at long last, finally found. In spite of the past five years of frustrations, disappointments and tears when searches have been unsuccesful I have never lost my faith, my belief and my hope that she WILL eventually be found. “Will today be that day?” I ask God as I bow my head in prayer…

    To Attorney Steve Greenberg’s comment on the news this morning “they’re not going to find anything because he didn’t do anything”, I have this to say – Mr Greenberg, Denial is not a river in Egypt!

  9. From a tweet this morning:

    “Lmao Mancow is layin into Drew Peterson’s former attorney”

    The guy who was just on his show last week posing with him and gooding around?

    Rats fleeing a sinking ship…

  10. Why are we so inclined to suspect Brodsky is capable anything?? Oh, I know – he’s done so many foolish things, while thinking he was really smart, and is completely out of touch with reality! Well more power to him, because IMO he’s the weak link that might hasten justice for Stacy 🙂

  11. I’m hearing that the search is continuing today. Let’s all keep our eyes and ears open for news and please remember to go out and vote for the candidate of your choice!

  12. Following is an excerpt from the above article. “Peterson’s step-brother Thomas Morphey also testified at the same hearing that in late October 2007, Peterson had discussed with him leaving Stacy’s car near Rosetto’s home in order to frame him for Stacy’s murder.” This is the very first time I’ve heard that Drew admitted to anyone that he had murdered Stacy.

  13. Hi Bonnie,

    We don’t know if Drew ever admitted to killing Stacy to anyone.

    Maybe I should have used the word “disappearance” instead of “murder”. Tom Morphey’s testimony was about some scheming that Drew Peterson did in the days leading up to Stacy’s disappearance. The day before she disappeared, the two of them attempted to rent a storage unit in Morphey’s name (according to Morphey) in which to store a body. Peterson explained that it would be in a container which would be sealed so there would be no smell and it could be moved later. Morphey testified that he thought it would be Stacy’s male friend who would be the victim at that time.

    Even Morphey claims not to know what was in the blue container that he carried from the house. He believes it was Stacy’s body but apparently he never asked for confirmation.

    He tried to kill himself the next day.

  14. The Shorewood area has always been an area of interest because of Scott Rossetto and the cell phone pings. This story is from November 2007:

    Although they’ve found nothing concrete, investigators speculate that Stacy Peterson’s body may have been dumped near Rossetto’s Shorewood town house, sources say.

    Sources told the Sun-Times News Group Tuesday that Morphey helped Peterson load a large blue barrel into Peterson’s SUV the day Stacy Peterson vanished.

    Earlier that day, Peterson may have used Morphey to try to frame Rossetto, sources said. As part of the plan, they said, Peterson drove Morphey to a Starbucks in Bolingbrook. At some point, Peterson left the shop, handing Morphey his cell phone, the sources said. Peterson told Morphey he would return and said that if the cell phone rang, Morphey should not answer it. While Peterson was gone, the phone rang and the caller identification showed the call was coming from Stacy Peterson’s cell phone, according to the sources.

    Peterson, 53, then returned to the Starbucks, picked up Morphey and the pair drove to Peterson’s home, where they loaded the blue barrel into the Bolingbrook police sergeant’s SUV, sources said.

    The next day, Morphey overdosed on pills, perhaps realizing that he may have unknowingly helped dispose of Stacy Peterson’s body, sources said.

    To date, the investigation has shown that one of Stacy Peterson’s last known cell phone calls was made in the Shorewood area, sources say. Investigators speculate that Drew Peterson actually made that phone call from Shorewood in an attempt to frame Rossetto as the killer.


  15. There’s no confirmation that a blue container even exists. All we know is that Tom Morphey testified that he and Drew moved a sealed blue container, warm to the touch and with plastic protruding from under the lid to Drew’s Denali.

    Stacy was last heard from at about 10 am on October 28, 2007 and Morphey says he helped moved the container that night at about 9:30-10:00 pm.

  16. More refresher:

    Morphey also said Peterson confided that Stacy was cheating on him with two possible lovers, one of whom he wanted to frame for Stacy’s murder. Peterson asked him to drive Stacy’s car to Shorewood, where one of Stacy’s men lived, and leave the car there with the keys in the ashtray in an attempt to lead the cops there, Morphey said. He also said Peterson tried to get him to rent a storage locker in Romeoville. “He said he wanted it in my name, that he would pay me $200 up front to rent it and when that ran out, he (would give) me more money. Concerned about a decomposing body beginning stink, Morphey said he asked, “What about the smell?” but Peterson reassured him. “He said a sealed container, he said it would be air-tight,” Morphey said. “He said I should check it from time to time to make sure there was no odor.” “He’d leave the container there for six months until the smoke cleared and then he’d dispose of it,” Morphey said, and “If something happened to him, if he had a heart attack, to dump it in the canal.”


  17. Am I the only one that thinks Drew had Stacy’s phone in his possession at that time and used it to call Thomas Morphey to “pretend” (such a wise-cracker) it was Stacy calling from there?
    Hi, all.

  18. No, you’re not the only one who thinks that. I suspect that everyone reading this blog believes that Drew had Stacy’s phone that night.

  19. I think Tom Morphey is very believeable. He has no motive at all to make up a story about what happened that night and what he has to say connects the dots when it comes to the cell phone pings.

    I think ATL is right. When it comes to not only the people who participate and read here at the blog, but also the ISP, the FBI and the state’s attorney’s office, I’m sure we all believe that it was Drew Peterson holding Stacy’s cell phone and placing those calls in order to frame someone else for her murder.

    Although Tom had directions from Drew not to answer the phone, one call, placed at 9:07 was ‘pocket answered’ and went on for four minutes or so. To explain this call, Drew made up the conversation about Stacy calling to tell Drew that she was leaving and that she’d left the car at Clow airport. I totally believe this to be what happened.

    I can’t wait for the day a jury gets to hear Tom Morphey’s testimony.

  20. Thanks for the update on search, I wanted to ask but knew you’d tell us Facs, as soon as possible :-). Ditto to comments regarding Drew and Stacy’s phone – if we ever learn just half of all the disgusting “little tricks” Drew has played over the years, I hope it will add another 60 years to his sentence.

  21. I’m so excited about this search continuing for a third day. No one can tell me that this is a routine search when the weather yesterday was awful and today it’s a muddy mess out there.

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall of Drew’s cell as he hears that this is going on.

  22. Again, I can’t help but wonder why this area is being searched again with such intensity. Why now? The ONLY answer that I can think of is that Brodsky dropped a hint. It could be a false lead (I surely wouldn’t put it past him), but FWIW, I believe that Brodsky is evil enough to make Drew squirm for dropping him as Lead Attorney.

    Just my humble opinioin….of course.

  23. facs……..I so agree…I so hope it was a good tip they got…drew has no control over any of this…now he doesn’t have brodsky to stand in front of the media and laugh at the search…

  24. A police source told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed, however, that investigators are searching for missing mom Stacy Peterson, the wife of convicted murderer and former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson. Sneed’s source says, “the search in the Hammel Woods area this week was actually a repeat of one done two years ago” by state police.

    The source also said that the search was based on an old lead. Authorities had been waiting for the availability of cadaver dogs.

    Since Monday, an FBI Mobile Command truck has been parked near the Black Road entrance while groups have searched the woods. Around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday about 10 investigators returned with hiking sticks, small shovels and yellow poles used to prod loose soil.

    As one man wearing FBI garb walked a hiking path and looked at an aerial photograph, another wearing a jacket labeled “Evidence Response Team” followed a springer spaniel running through the nearby trees.

    Springer spaniels are regularly used as “cadaver dogs” and it is not unheard of for the animals to find remains that have been exposed to the elements for more than a decade.

  25. It took two years to round up some cadaver dogs?

    IIRC the ISP was searching about two years ago, but it was near Galesburg, not Shorewood. Galesburg is about 150 miles West of Shorewood.

    I suppose the ISP might have done some searching in Shorewood in late 2010 that somehow flew under the radar, but it’s hard to believe that no one would have noticed their efforts and reported on them.

  26. And keep in mind that police sources originally stated that this new search was simply a training exercise. So…I’m taking everything I hear with a grain of salt.

  27. @ facsmiley…I was watching the news Tuesday morning when Greenberg commented via phone to the news channel on the search for Stacy in Hammel woods, quote “they aren’t going to find anything because he (meaning Drew) didn’t do anything” unquote. That is why, in my first post on this site I made the comment “Mr Greenberg, denial is not a river in Egypt!” (I’m pretty sure Drew’s lawyers are following this blog).

    I too share the excitement over this search for several reasons and I never for a moment believed it was a “regular periodic search”, nope! Too many “meaningfull coincidences”….and I suspect there is much going on behind the scenes that isn’t being made public to protect the integrity of the investigation. The magnitude of manpower, resources and time that is going into this IMO is very telling.

    Neither do I buy the cadaver dog “explanation”….IMO, ISP and the FBI are doing their utmost to keep their cards very close to the vest so to speak; protect the integrity of the investigation as well as the identity of the source/s.

    I hope Drew is sweating bullets as he paces his cell wondering whom of his street rat friends (or maybe Brodsky) sang a lil song to LE.

  28. Greenberg talked to In Session yesterday by phone. When asked his thoughts on current search, he indicated it could be politically motivated since right before election… Also he couldn’t understand why they chose an area that had already been searched. 😦 Typical defense spin IMO.

  29. Well, I would say that if Drew had Stacy’s phone and the pings came from around Shorewood, Stacy was nowhere near the area. Drew wouldn’t have taken the chance of being found that night within a gazillion miles of where Stacy was.

  30. Morphey says that Drew wanted to frame Rossetto for Stacy’s murder. If he was out there making cell phone calls from her phone in order to put her in the area, he might have also returned and put her body there to further frame Rossetto.

    But Drew’s phone was back in Bolingbrook (with Morphey) and he may well have thought that the pings from that location would be enough to establish whereabouts for him, back at home where he claimed to be.

    Drew has admitted to being near the Sanitary shipping canal later that night, when he answered the call from Cassandra. (He told her that he was at home, but the ping put him near the canal/lockport which he had to explain). He said on the Dr. Phil show that he was there, looking for Stacy. I’m sure he would have loved to not been anywhere near Stacy’s remains, but he had to be while getting rid of them. If he wasn’t getting rid of her body what was he doing there?

    If she’s not in that area, then where could she be? Drew only had a short window of time to get rid of her since Cassandra was calling around looking for her all day and had contacted police by midnight.

    I’m not saying that I believe she’s in Hammel Woods but I think that she could be.

  31. LOL…Greenberg is a user….who cares why they went looking for her body…there looking …that’s important….Greenberg uses the a make a joke of a mother who has been missing for 5 years…if it were his sister or his daughter….it goes back to ….if you don’t have something nice to say….keep your mouth shut….

  32. Greenberg is just mouthing the same stuff we used to hear from Joel. I understand that he has to give the client a ‘vigorous defense’ but how does he know what is or isn’t in those woods?

  33. Officials are now saying that the FBI and ISP are doing training and looking for evidence at the same time.

    One of Peterson’s defense attorneys, Joseph “Shark” Lopez, was dubious of the FBI and state police operation.

    “They couldn’t find Hambone Albergo, I doubt they’ll find her,” Lopez said, referring to the Chicago mobster FBI agents dug up a U.S. Cellular Field parking lot to look for but failed to find.

    “Even if she was there, they wouldn’t find her,” Lopez said.

    Told that the law had set a dog loose to look for Stacy, Lopez said, “They must be having a good time,” and added, “We’ll see of they come up with a pork chop or something.”

  34. does anyone remember the other judge , um can’t think of his name, that was with trutv , he was asked if they can appeal or turn over drews conviction, and he said nope and was also asked of what about ineffective councle he also said nope to that as well does anyone remeber that . and that drews conviction will stay . and no appelet appellate issues at all. glad they are looken for stacy hope they find her .

  35. when Joe Lopez makes remarks like that ….does he really think we think …wow!!! he’s really funny….and what we are really thinking is how a no neck…crude slimball…ever got his license to practice law….thanks I feel better…they will find Stacy…

  36. I am thoroughly disgusted at Joe Lopez’s comments. What an insensitive moron. I can see why he is the attorney of choice for mobsters.

    He displays a lot of the sociopathic qualities seen in many of his clients.

    He is not Shark Lopez, he is pig Lopez.

  37. I’m so grateful that Joe Hosey is on Nancy Grace since he’s the only person who a.) knows the facts of the case and b.) is willing to state them.

    I give you the “b.” because Steve Greenberg is also on but lying a blue streak, and the rest of the ‘experts’ Nancy has assembled don’t know shit.

    The telecommunications guy isn’t even aware of the allegations of the framing, someone referred to Morphey as “Brophey” and apparently he’s Drew’s brother-in-law. Oh yeah, did you know that Drew kept his plane at Clow airport and then flew over Hammel woods and dropped her there? *head on desk*

    Sorry, but this is the worst coverage of the case I’ve ever seen.

  38. Even though there is a lot of fingerpointing at Joel, let’s not forget the lunacy that is Joe Lopez.

    His closing argument was probably the most ridiculous on record and no doubt helped bury his client as what Jury would be able to see such theatrics as relevant, let alone adding merit to the case at hand ……..

    IMHO – Joel may have been seen as the biggest liability, but attorney Lopez is definitely not far behind………..

  39. Lol Facs, I have to agree Joe Hosey was the best part of Nancy Grace show. Thank goodness he was able to state the facts and give the viewers some real information.

    Does anyone else think it’s a little strange that the search has loosened the tongues of Greenberg and Lopez again? Makes me curious. Are they just being offensive defense lawyers or is there another motive?

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