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Family of Drew Peterson’s missing wife seeks own day in court

By Stacy St. Clair, Chicago Tribune –

CHICAGO — Stacy Peterson’s words helped convict her husband for Kathleen Savio’s murder.

Now her family hopes she’ll be given her own day in court.

Stacy’s relatives cried Thursday after a Will County jury convicted Drew Peterson of murdering Savio, but they stressed the tears were shed for the Savio family’s bittersweet moment. Peterson, they said, still needs to be held accountable for his fourth wife’s disappearance.

“This is not Stacy’s day,” her sister Cassandra Cales said. “Stacy’s day is coming, and it’s coming soon.”

Stacy Peterson, 23, vanished in October 2007 and has not been heard from since that time. Her disappearance prompted authorities to reopen the death investigation into Savio’s 2004 drowning and eventually led to the former Bolingbrook police sergeant’s arrest for his third wife’s murder.

Peterson denies wrongdoing in Stacy’s case and has long suggested she abandoned her young children to live with another man on an unnamed island.

After the Savio verdict, Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said the investigation into her disappearance continues and hinted charges were possible.

“We have to catch our breath and begin a review of the evidence in that case. We’ll do an aggressive review of the case with an eye toward potentially charging it,” Glasgow said. “Obviously the longer any person is gone, the easier it is to prove that they haven’t just simply run away and (that) they are deceased.”

Peterson defense attorney Darryl Goldberg said he would be surprised if prosecutors charged his client before his appeals are exhausted in the Savio case.

“That’s a decision that Mr. Glasgow has to make,” Goldberg said. “I’m sure he’ll give it careful consideration, but this may not be the appropriate time.”

Glasgow indicated he planned to introduce evidence of Stacy’s disappearance at Peterson’s November sentencing to ensure a stiff penalty. Peterson faces between 20 and 60 years in prison.

During a landmark 2010 hearsay hearing, a judge ruled that Peterson likely killed Stacy and thus allowed several hearsay statements from her to be admitted at the Savio trial. Those statements — told through her pastor and a divorce lawyer — served as the prosecution’s only means of directly connecting Peterson to Savio’s death.

And, in that way, Stacy made sure Peterson paid for his actions.

“You can say the prosecution not only sought justice for Kathleen Savio, but in some respects it got justice for Stacy, as well,” said former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer, director of Kroll Advisory Solution’s Chicago office and a consultant to Glasgow’s team during the trial. “In a very real way, she was a part of this conviction.”

Regardless, Cales has not given up looking for her sister’s remains. Long after the media attention waned following Stacy’s disappearance, Cales said she and her supporters have been methodically searching the area with cadaver dogs at least once a month.

“I’m going to turn the world inside out until I find Stacy,” she said.

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