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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stacy Peterson's Body? Could Take Weeks to Identify Remains

Remains Found on River Bank Near Blue Barrel Could Be Stacy Peterson's or Lisa Stebic's. DNA tests on bone could take weeks.

May 21, 2009

Law Enforcement are facing major obstacles in identifying the body found along an Illinois river bank near the home of accused murderer Drew Peterson since the corpse is missing its head, arms and skin.
The office of Will County Coroner Patrick K. O'Neil said the body -- which many believe could be that of Drew Peterson's missing wife Stacy -- was clad in only women's underwear and shreds of blue jeans that held a small amount of money. New clue.

Since the corpse lacks a head, hands or feet, it has complicated identifying the body through dental records or prints.

"The partial skeletal remains consisted of a rib cage, spinal column and partial left and right femur bones," the coroner's office said.
The lack of skin has made it more difficult to obtain DNA. A coroner and a forensic anthropologist are working together to confirm the gender of the corpse and are expected to test the bone marrow to try and identify the remains, sources told ABC News affiliate WLS's Amy Jacobson.

The coroner's office said it will take at least two weeks to obtain the DNA and determine its match. They are also trying to determine whether the head was severed before or after death, O'Neil said. Police are also searching for the body's head and other body parts.
Though officials acknowledge the body could be someone else's the similarities between Stacy Peterson and another missing woman, Lisa Stebic, are numerous. Both are of similar height and weight and both have had Cesarean sections after giving birth...this statement makes me think there was more left of the body than the coroner reported (above), From which bones did they see that there was a Cesarean scar?
The discovery Wednesday of the decomposing body near Peterson's Illinois home has the potential to blow huge holes in his claim that his fourth wife simply ran off with another man...

But the fact that the decomposing body was found less than a mile from a blue barrel could be significant, as Peterson's stepbrother told "Good Morning America" in March that he helped Peterson move a heavy blue barrel from the Peterson's' home into their SUV shortly after Stacy Peterson disappeared.
"I know he killed Stacy," said Peterson's stepbrother Thomas Morphey.

Area resident Michelle Williams spotted the blue barrel in the river earlier this week and notified police.

"A blue barrel in the river is something people would want to know about, especially police," Williams said. "When we first saw the blue barrel we first thought of Stacy Peterson."

Drew Peterson...remains jailed on $20 million bond.

Investigators say the partial remains of a small woman clad only in underwear were found by a barge clean-up crew on the bank of the Des Plaines River near rural Channahon, Ill.

The Will County coroner's office said it will conduct an autopsy today and investigators say DNA will be crucial in identifying the body...
Peterson has said he expects to be found innocent of Savio's murder and has maintained a seemingly cavalier attitude toward his May 7 arrest. Last week, Peterson, who is being held at the Will County jail, defended his behavior.

"Well, there is no book written on how I'm supposed to act," Peterson told NBC's "Today" show. "Would it be better if I hid my head down and tried to hide my face and hunched over and tears in my eyes? I mean, no, that's just not me."

Drew Peterson Also Suspected in Disappearance of Stacy Peterson

Peterson is also considered a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy. A law enforcement source said the special grand jury that indicted Peterson for Savio's death is continuing to hear evidence in the Stacy Peterson case.

If a murder indictment is handed down for the Stacy Peterson case, experts said it could vastly change the case against Drew Peterson.
"Then I think the prosecution will combine both cases, and each case will sort of feed off the other and will present a powerful picture to both a trial judge and a jury that this guy is a serial murderer," legal analyst Dana Cole told ABC's "Good Morning America" last week.

Peterson told "Today" that he will "probably be found innocent" of Savio's murder.

Brodsky has said he expects to challenge a new Illinois state law that could prove vital to the prosecution's case.

Prosecutors are hoping they can enter into evidence writings from Savio when she was in the midst of her divorce from Peterson, that she feared her husband's "next step is to take my children away or kill me."

A new Illinois state law allows such statements only if the witness was killed to prevent him or her from testifying.

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