CHICAGO – Drew Peterson, a suspect in his 23-year-old wife's disappearance, wants the public to help fund his legal defense.
The former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant launched a Web site Tuesday seeking donations to help pay his legal fees, as well as pay for a private investigator to search for his wife, Stacy Peterson, who has been missing since Oct. 28.
"For the cost of a few cups of your morning coffee, you can help to ensure that Drew can afford to support his ongoing legal defense, find his missing wife and divert any remaining funds into a trust for his children," the Web site says.
But Stacy Peterson's family believes the site is just a ploy to get money, not to help find the mother of two.
"What will this man do next?" Pamela Bosco, a spokeswoman for Stacy Peterson's family, told FOXNews.com. "It's all part of his plan. He's a very manipulative man; he has been all the way."
The site, DefendDrew.com, offers several options for donation amounts, ranging from $5 to $250.
"We are not asking you to decide whether or not Drew Peterson is guilty, but in the United States of America, one should be able to defend one's self without the losing everything (sic)," according to the site.
Officials have named Drew Peterson a suspect in Stacy Peterson's disappearance, but he has not been arrested or charged. Bosco said she believes it's just a matter of time before he's in handcuffs.
"Drew obviously had something to do with Stacy's disappearance," Bosco said. "What he did with her, we have no idea."
Stacy Peterson was reported missing after she failed to show up at a friend's house. Her 53-year-old husband says she left him for another man, but Stacy Peterson's family says she would never leave her children behind.
Any money collected for Drew Peterson's defense fund will go first to legal fees and hiring a private investigator to find Stacy Peterson, said Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson's attorney. Any remaining funds will go to a trust fund for the Petersons' children.
“If you believe that a person should be able to defend themselves properly, then Drew needs a hand,” Brodsky said. “If we don’t get a hand, then there’s going to be a fairly weak defense.”
He said Drew Peterson needs help to fund his defense against the hundreds of investigators working the case against him.
“Do you believe that somebody should be steamrolled because this case has become a media sensation, or do you believe that everybody should have a fair shot, that there should be an equal playing field?” Brodsky asked.
The Web site says that Drew and his four children, two of whom are from a previous marriage, need help.
"Drew and his children should not have to lose everything accumulated in thirty years of public service," it says on the site. "Drew and his children risk losing their life savings, house, automobiles and may end up impoverished, all by simply defending himself against allegations."
Meanwhile, a team of FBI special agents, Illinois State Police and other law enforcement authorities are searching canals for any signs of Stacy Peterson.
Bosco said she did not know what specific clues led officials to search the area. There is a lot of debris in the water, and search teams are awaiting sonar equipment for a more extensive search.
There is a $25,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in Stacy Peterson's disappearance.