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 Laci Denise <I>Rocha</I> Peterson

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Laci Denise Rocha Peterson

  • Birth 4 May 1975 Modesto, Stanislaus County, California, USA
  • Death 24 Dec 2002 Modesto, Stanislaus County, California, USA
  • Burial Escalon, San Joaquin County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 7357179

Murder Victim. Born in Modesto, California, she attended California Polytechnic State University, where in 1994, she met Scott Peterson through a friend. They were married two years later, and ran a successful restaurant in San Louis Obispo, California. The couple moved to Modesto in 2000, where she became a substitute teacher. Laci disappeared from her Modesto, California, home on Christmas Eve morning 2002, when her husband, Scott Peterson, reported she had taken their dog for a walk while he went fishing in San Francisco Bay. Upon his return that afternoon, he found the dog in the backyard (where a neighbor had put him earlier that day) and no sign of Laci. He called police about 6:00 pm to report her missing. A wide scale search failed to find the woman, and the story soon had national media attention, including an episode on "America's Most Wanted." At the time of her disappearance, she was pregnant with their unborn son, Conner Peterson, who was due to be born on February 10, 2003. During the many searches for Laci, Scott seemed almost disinterested, and police soon learned that he had a pretty lover, Amber Frey. Amber Frey had thought Scott Peterson was unmarried, until she heard the news reports of Laci's disappearance, and she soon contacted the police. Amber provided police with information on Scott, and participated in a wiretap telephone conversation with Scott that led to further incriminating information that Laci could be dead. On April 14, 2003, two badly decomposed bodies of a woman and a male fetus washed ashore on the beach of Point Isabel Regional Park from San Francisco Bay, which DNA soon identified as Laci and her unborn son, Conner. Four days later, when it was clear the police were focusing on Scott, he made an apparent run for the Mexican border, dying his brown hair blonde, growing a goatee, carrying $15,000 in cash, camping equipment and his brother's borrowed passport. He was arrested in La Jolla (near San Diego and close to the Mexican border), and charged with first-degree murder. On November 12, 2004, despite a vigorous defense from his high profile defense attorney, Mark Geragos, Scott Peterson was convicted on both charges and a month later, sentenced to death. Scott Peterson is incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison, and if unsuccessful in his appeals, this is where he will most likely be executed. In December 2005, Sharon Rocha, Laci's mother, was awarded $250,000, the proceeds of Laci's life insurance policy; she has written a book, "For Laci" which describes the circumstances of Laci's death and Scott's subsequent trial. Laci and Conner's deaths have led the US Congress to pass the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act," in their honor.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Apr 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7357179
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Laci Denise Rocha Peterson (4 May 1975–24 Dec 2002), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7357179, citing Burwood Cemetery, Escalon, San Joaquin County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .