Published May 11, 2003
Laci Peterson (search) may have been abducted on Christmas Eve day, sources from Scott Peterson's defense team told Fox News.
The defense sources say they have at least one witness who claims to have information that the pregnant woman was kidnapped on Dec. 24. Several neighbors said they saw a strange van in the area that day, parked near the Peterson home.
The remains of Laci Peterson, 27, and her unborn son, Conner washed up in San Francisco Bay last month. Her husband Scott Peterson (search), 30, was arrested days later in San Diego. He has pleaded not guilty to two murder charges. Stanislaus County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Defense team sources told Fox News that attorney Mark Geragos (search) wants a woman to come forward who has information that may tie one of several people seen in the van or individuals involved in a burglary to Laci's murder.
Two men were arrested for burglarizing the house across the street from the Peterson home on Dec. 26. One is still in custody. Defense team sources theorize that the van and the burglary may be related and may be tied to Laci's murder.
Police maintain the burglary was not tied to Laci's disappearance and they believe the van contained some gardeners who were working in the area.
Peterson, who is being held without bail, said he last saw his wife Dec. 24 as he left to go fishing in Berkeley.
Police have searched the couple's house, the storage warehouse where Peterson, a fertilizer salesman, kept supplies, and seized his boat, truck and trailer. They also used a search warrant to get a DNA sample from Peterson.
A judge on Friday sealed more court documents in the case after prosecutors said the investigation was ongoing and claimed that revealing evidence would jeopardize Peterson's chances of getting a fair trial.
Judge Al Girolami sealed court papers that contained evidence police used to get a warrant to arrest Scott Peterson and to conduct another search after his arrest.
In legal briefs filed Thursday in Stanislaus County Superior Court, police said the affidavits they had filed outlined evidence in the case and named witnesses. They said revealing that information could hurt their investigation as they follow up on 9,000 tips in the case.
Girolami sealed the papers and said he would reconsider motions by three California newspapers to unseal them at a May 27 hearing.
The search warrants, affidavits supporting them and lists of items seized are expected to contain a summary of evidence compiled in the case.
Following court-approved searches, certain paperwork must be returned to the court and made public unless a judge seals them. In this case, nine search warrants have been sealed. The Modesto Bee, the Contra Costa Times and the San Jose Mercury News have argued that the court papers should be made public.
Fox New's Rita Cosby, Amy C. Sims and the Associated Press contributed to this report.