BRIAN MELLEY, The Associated Press
MODESTO, Calif. (AP) -- A police detective acknowleged Friday that he
didn't follow up on a tip from a woman who claimed to have seen
someone resembling Laci Peterson in a park on the day her husband
says she disappeared.
Under cross-examination by attorneys for Scott Peterson, Detective
Philip Owen said he didn't pursue the tip because he didn't think it
was "going in the right direction."
Peterson's attorneys have suggested during the preliminary hearing,
in its ninth day Friday, that detectives zeroed in on Laci Peterson's
husband as a suspect, and ignored other leads.
Owen said he didn't feel the woman's tip was credible because it
conflicted with other information detectives had received.
The woman, an employee at the Stanislaus County Hospital, told police
she saw a woman who resembled Laci Peterson walking a barking golden
retriever in the park near the Peterson home at around 10:45 a.m. on
Dec. 24. The tipster reported that two men walking near the woman
told her to shut the dog up.
On Thursday, Karen Servas, who lived near the couple, testified that
she found Laci Peterson's golden retriever wandering in the street at
"approximately 10:18 a.m."
Scott Peterson told police that he last saw his wife, who was eight
months pregnant, on the morning of Christmas Eve as he left to go
Laci Peterson's remains washed ashore in San Francisco Bay in April,
just three miles from where her husband said he'd been fishing that
On Thursday, Owen said Laci Peterson's body was clad in tan pants --
not the black pants her husband reported she was wearing when he left
on his fishing trip.
The pants matched a pair bought on Peterson's account at a Modesto
maternity store, Owen said. Her half sister, Amy Rocha, testified she
was wearing tan pants Dec. 23 -- the last time anyone other than her
husband reported seeing her alive.
Prosecutors contend that Peterson killed his pregnant wife later that
night or early the next morning and then dumped her body in San
Owen was the third policeman to take the stand in Stanislaus County
Superior Court to determine whether the 31-year-old fertilizer
salesman is tried on murder charges in the slayings of his wife and
Detective Al Brocchini, the first detective on the case, wrapped up
his third day of testimony Thursday, revealing more details about
what led police to keep their focus on Peterson.
On three days in early January, undercover police officers trailed
Peterson to the Berkeley Marina -- the place he said he launched his
boat to go fishing when his wife vanished.
Geragos got Brocchini to acknowledge that he wasn't aware that two of
Peterson's visits to Berkeley -- 80 miles from Modesto -- were on
days that it was reported that police were searching in the bay.
Brocchini also said Peterson had a two-day fishing license for Dec.
23-24. Peterson had told investigators went fishing on the 24th on
the spur of the moment.
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Peterson's former mistress, Amber Frey, will not testify at the
preliminary hearing. Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, said prosecutors
"obviously made a determination" they have presented enough evidence