This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," January 23, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight we have an exclusive interview with Scott's father, Lee Peterson (search), who joins us on the phone from San Diego.
LEE PETERSON, SCOTT PETERSON'S FATHER: Hello, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Lee, when was the last time you saw Laci?
PETERSON: I saw Laci — we got together in Carmel with Scott and Laci. We do that every year — Carmel, California. And it was the Wednesday before Christmas.
VAN SUSTEREN: Anything unusual, Lee, when you saw Laci? Did she seem different to you, or did the relationship between Scott and Laci seem different?
PETERSON: No, not at all. Same bubbly Laci. I remarked that when we first met her, she was coming down the street to the hotel and I was unloading the car. And they were preparing the baby room, and we had bought a life ring that said "Welcome aboard" on it. And Laci ran over and hugged me, like she always does, and I reached in the car and pulled out this life ring, and I said, Here, this is for the baby's room. And she hugged me again. And I said, Wow, I got a double hug. They were absolutely just so happy. I mean, Scott just grinned the entire time. He looked like a fool grinning. I mean, he and Laci were so much in love.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, you say that they were so much in love, but I'm sure that you have seen all the reports suggesting that your son had not just one girlfriend but even more than one girlfriend. Do you buy that at all? Do you have any information to support that or to disprove that?
PETERSON: Disprove what?
VAN SUSTEREN: That your son had girlfriends? I mean, you paint a picture of the perfect marriage and a very strong marriage, yet there are reports that he had a girlfriend. Do you know anything about that at all? Is that a lie, or is there any truth to that?
PETERSON: As far as I know, there's no truth to it. I saw some pictures, but those pictures were pretty typical of what you might see if you were attending a holiday party and people were taking pictures of, you know, of participants, of various couples.
VAN SUSTEREN: I haven't seen those photographs. Tell me exactly what it shows. Is Scott touching any other woman? His arm around her? I mean, what's in those photos?
PETERSON: I think one, he's dancing. And another, they're standing side by side. And a third, I really don't recall.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know who that woman is, Lee?
PETERSON: No. No idea.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know what kind of outing it was, where these pictures were taken?
PETERSON: I was told it was a Christmas party, and that's all I know.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know if it was a work-related party?
PETERSON: I don't know, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Lee, have you even had a chance to ask your son, Scott, about the pictures?
PETERSON: No, I haven't.
VAN SUSTEREN: Any reason why not?
PETERSON: Well, I haven't seen him since — oh, nearly a week ago, we came back to southern California because my wife got sick. I had to take her to the hospital there in Modesto. And since we've been home, she's been to two different doctors again with high blood pressure. I think you know she has a respiratory problem. So I haven't seen Scott. I've talked to him on the phone at least twice a day. But no, I haven't asked him.
VAN SUSTEREN: This must be pretty tough on you, Lee.
PETERSON: Well, you know, it'll be a month tomorrow, and I feel like I've aged 10 years, and I'm not exaggerating. It's tough on everybody — both the families. And it's a nightmare, and we can't seem to walk out of it.
VAN SUSTEREN: What does Scott tell you was the last time that he saw Laci?
PETERSON: Like he said, he was preparing to go fishing. She was in the kitchen. And so then she planned to walk the dog and do some shopping for the evening's meal. They were going over to her parents for Christmas Eve dinner. And he left, I believe, around 9:30.
VAN SUSTEREN: I assume Scott has a cell phone. Does he have a cell phone?
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know if he attempted to call Laci during the day at home from his cell phone?
PETERSON: I don't know. I know I talked to him once.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what did he say when you talked to him that day?
PETERSON: We just talked about what we were going to do that night. It was Christmas Eve, and I told him we were going to go over to our daughter, Susan's, and be with the rest of the family. And he said they were going to go to Laci's parents. It was just pretty much a catch-up call. You know, How are you doing and what are you going to do, kind of deal.
VAN SUSTEREN: Lee, what's your theory as to what happened?
PETERSON: She was out in the street, starting to take a walk, and somebody — or a number of people, I don't know — pulled up and abducted her. There was a van seen in the area. And I have never heard any final, you know, resolution of that by the police. A neighbor — or not a neighbor but someone a block or so away drove by and saw a van and thought it was unusual. And then someone tried to explain it away by saying it was gardeners, but gardeners don't drive vans, they drive pick-up trucks and pull trailers.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Lee, thank you very much for joining me this evening. And as I say to all the family members, I hope that we get some good news very soon. Thank you, Lee.
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