CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities have determined that a trucker did not see a man believed to be Drew Peterson hours after the former police officer’s wife disappeared as he initially claimed, police said Friday.
“We did look into the tip and it is unfounded,” Illinois State Police Trooper Mark Dorencz told The Associated Press, saying that detectives are investigating the same claim made by another trucker.
Illinois State Police released a statement last weekend that truckers saw a man thought to be Peterson, a former police sergeant, at a Bolingbrook truck stop at about 3:30 a.m. Oct. 29 and he and another man asked them to take a package to an undisclosed location.
Police said the truckers declined, but the department released the information in the hopes that others might come forward with information about Stacy Peterson’s disappearance.
Peterson’s attorney, Joel Brodsky, dismissed the allegation, saying that Peterson was not at the truck stop.
Dorencz would not comment Friday on a published report that investigators had determined after examining the truck driver’s telephone records that he was in Louisiana and not at the truck stop at the time.
But Dorencz said the man’s claim was not unreasonable, explaining that it is not uncommon for strangers to approach truck drivers and ask them to transport packages.
Although he has not been arrested or charged, Drew Peterson, 53, has been named a suspect in Stacy Peterson’s disappearance by Illinois State Police, who have labeled the case a possible homicide.
Stacy Peterson was last seen Oct. 28 and reported missing by her family the next day. Drew Peterson, a longtime member of the Bolingbrook Police Department until he quit after his wife went missing, has denied any involvement in her disappearance. He has said he believes his wife left him for another man and is alive.
Authorities also are investigating the death of Peterson’s ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, whose body was found in her bathtub in 2004. Her death initially was ruled an accidental drowning. But when Peterson disappeared, the Will County State’s Attorney’s office opened another investigation into the case and has said it appears her death was a homicide staged to look like an accident.