As Drew Peterson sits in jail awaiting arraignment Friday – following his Thursday arrest in Bollingbrook, Ill., on charges of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio – Savio’s family is finding his arrest overdue.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Savio’s father Henry Savio, 73, tells PEOPLE. Although father and daughter were estranged, and Henry hadn’t spoken to Kathleen since her wedding to Drew (which he did not attend), Savio said he never believed Kathleen’s 2004 death was an accident – and after Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007, he came to believe that Drew Peterson had killed her.
“It broke my heart,” Savio says. “All this time I didn’t get to see her, and now she’s not here anymore.”
In an appearance on Good Morning America Friday, Savio s sister, Sue Doman, reacted with disgust to reports of Peterson’s jocular response when was picked up at a traffic stop. ( I guess I should have returned those library books, he allegedly said). “He s an idiot,” said Doman. “This is a very serious situation. This is something that has turned our lives upside down. He needs to face reality.
Prepared for Arrest
For Peterson, 56, who maintains his innocence in Kathleen Savio’s death and the disappearance, the long-rumored arrest was something he had anticipated. “He knew this day would come,” Peterson’s publicist Glenn Selig tells PEOPLE. “He was mentally prepared for the idea that he could be arrested. He prepared for a worst-case scenario in his mind, and he had a plan in place. Preparing, for him, was planning that he had a place for his kids to go and that they would be well taken care of.”
In fact, another woman, Christina Raines, 24, recently moved into Peterson’s home and the two are engaged.
When Selig spoke to his client earlier Thursday, Peterson “didn’t indicate that [it] was any different than any other day. He was getting ready to leave for Nevada in the morning.” Peterson was planning a trip from Chicago to Reno, where he was scheduled to meet with representatives of the HBO reality series Cathouse, who had asked him to consider becoming an on-air apprentice at one of Nevada’s legal brothels.
Death of Savio
Kathleen Savio’s body was discovered in an empty bathtub in 2004, and the case was ruled an accidental drowning – a finding that is still “the correct determination,” Peterson’s attorney Joel Brodsky tells PEOPLE.
But after Stacy Peterson went missing in 2007, authorities re-opened the Savio case and declared it a staged homicide, resulting in Thursday’s two-count grand jury indictment against Drew Peterson for first-degree murder. His bond was set at $20 million, an amount Peterson’s attorney described as “tremendously excessive.”
“This is an extremely grave and serious matter, and I think that’s reflected in the bond,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glascow said in a news conference late Thursday.
Peterson’s attorney Brodsky affirmed his client’s innocence, even as the state’s attorney says the investigation into Stacy’s disappearance continues. Last year, for the book Drew Peterson Exposed, Peterson submitted to a private polygraph test regarding Savio’s death, “and he passed that test 100 percent with flying colors,” Brodsky says.
• Additional reporting by HILARY SHENFELD