Scott Peterson, arrested Friday and now being kept in a maximum-security cell in California’s Stanislaus County jail, awaited arraignment Monday on charges that he murdered his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn child, reports the Associated Press.
In a case that has captured national attention, Peterson, 30, maintains that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance, and was fishing in the San Francisco Bay when she vanished just before Christmas. Last week authorities found the bodies of Laci Peterson and her unborn baby on the shore of the bay.
Investigators had long declined to publicly name Peterson as a suspect, even though he admitted to having an extra-marital affair and reportedly was the beneficiary of a $250,000 life-insurance policy taken out on his wife.
Yet even before DNA tests identified the bodies, Modesto police arrested Peterson Friday near San Diego because they feared he might flee to Mexico, Modesto Police Chief Roy Wasden told AP.
At the time of his arrest, Peterson’s naturally dark hair had been dyed reddish-blond, he had grown a goatee, and he had $10,000 in cash with him in his car.
In an interview with Time magazine Sunday, Peterson’s father, Lee, said “police have just bungled this investigation from day one.”
“You have a district attorney calling this a slam-dunk before there’s even an arraignment,” Scott Peterson’s mother, Jackie, told the magazine. “I’m feeling like I’m living in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.”
She repeated that sentiment for NBC News on Sunday and Monday broadcasts.
“We’re grieving for the baby, as Scott is for Laci,” Lee Peterson told Time.