Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Drew Peterson: Wife Killer?


Stacy Peterson, the bubbly, vivacious 23-year-old fourth wife of 53-year-old Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson, disappeared on Sunday morning, October 28, 2007. The last person known to have seen Stacy alive was her husband.

Drew Peterson, who was 53 when Stacy went missing, claimed his 23-year-old wife, whom he had started dating when she was 17, abandoned their two sons, ages 4 and 2, to run off with another man.

Cassandra Cales (l) and Stacy Peterson
Cassandra Cales (l) and Stacy Peterson
Most everyone else, including many police and prosecutors, now suspects he killed her.

Drew Peterson claims he last saw Stacy about 10 a.m., when she got a telephone call from a friend. The call woke him up, said Drew, who had worked the late shift the previous night as a patrol supervisor for the Police Department. After speaking with his wife briefly, Peterson said, he went back to sleep.

"She was gone when I woke up," Drew Peterson told NBC News.

Stacy was supposed to help her sister, Cassandra Cales, and her sister's boyfriend paint their house, but when Stacy hadn't arrived by that afternoon, Cassandra called her cell phone, but Stacy didn't answer. As the hours ticked by with no word from Stacy, her family started to become nervous.

Drew Peterson claims Stacy called him at 9 p.m. She told him she was leaving him for another man. Although there is no way to establish who made that call, police investigators reportedly found a record of a call from Stacy's phone to Drew's phone at 9 p.m. the night she disappeared.

Thomas Morphey, Drew Peterson's stepbrother, though, has said he was with Peterson at 9 p.m. the night Stacy disappeared. Morphey, who admits to problems with drugs and alcohol, recounts that he and Peterson were having coffee when Peterson left his cell phone with Morphey but told him not to answer it. While Peterson was gone, Morphey said, two calls came in on the phone. The Caller ID listed both calls as coming from "Stacy's Cell."

Later that night, Drew Peterson called Stacy's family and told them about the phone call he says he received from his wife. The family didn't buy Drew's story. At midnight, Cassandra Cales went to the Bolingbrook Police Department to file a missing person report. Because the case involved one of their own officers, Bolingbrook police sent Cassandra to the Illinois State Police.

The Bolingbrook cops also notified Drew that his sister-in-law was trying to report his wife missing.

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