Missing Mom Case Now Homicide Investigation

As hundreds of searchers resume their hunt today for missing mother of two Stacy Peterson, who disappeared from her suburban Chicago home more than two weeks ago, police have called her husband a suspect and now consider her a possible murder victim.

"I would say the case has shifted now from a missing person case to a potential homicide case," said Illinois State Police Capt. Carl Dobrich.

Meanwhile Drew Peterson, who now officially is a suspect in the case, has stayed behind closed doors and refused to participate in the investigation. He has taken exception with his media portrayal.

"The media's terrorizing my children," Drew Peterson said. The marriage, which was Drew's fourth and Stacy's first, produced two children, 2-year-old Lacy and 4-year-old Anthony. The children remain in Drew's care, and police said they have no grounds to remove them.

Suspicions have surrounded Drew in part because he was the last person to see his wife alive. He has said he believes his 23-year-old wife of four years left him for another man, but friends have said Stacy recently had told her husband she wanted a divorce.

Some refuse to believe the 53-year-old police officer's story, and investigators have reopened the inquiry into the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Officials have called the circumstances around Savio's 2004 bathtub drowning suspicious.

Her death originally was ruled accidental, but now prosecutors are unsure and have authorized Savio's body to be exhumed.

"There are strong indications that it was a homicide," said Will County, Ill., lawyer James Glasgow.

Since Drew has become the subject of much speculation, the Bolingbrook, Ill., police force has suspended him, though it said the reasons are unrelated to his wife's disappearance.

Though Drew's mother told a local news station she continues to support her son and knows he is innocent, others who began supporting him have changed their minds.

Drew's friend Rick Mims has known him for 27 years and since Stacy's disappearance he had previously said he would support his longtime buddy any way he can.

"He asked me to help with the kids and keep an eye on them [because] he was definitely shaken up over Stacy leaving him. And I just did what a friend would do," Mims said. "I have my best friend that is under the scrutiny of America saying he's guilty of a crime that I don't feel there's any foul play in," Mims said last week to "Good Morning America."

But now even Mims has begun to have his doubts.

"He's a friend of mine. I feel pretty bad about having doubts about him," Mims said. "It's something I've got to live with, but I got do what I feel is right. And right now the right thing is to keep looking for Stacy."

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