Police: Object found in Berkeley Marina could be a body

BERKELEY, Calif. -- The sonar search of the Berkeley Marina for a missing Modesto woman has turned up an underwater object that is possibly a human body, police said Thursday.

The Modesto Police Department said that inclement weather and fatigue among the divers prevented them from searching any further Thursday night.

Police have searched for Laci Peterson since Christmas Eve, when her husband reported her missing upon his return from a fishing trip he said he took that day to the Berkeley Marina.

The Modesto woman is eight months pregnant and her husband said he last saw her on the morning of Dec. 24. A neighbor found her dog later that day walking alone through the neighborhood and her car was still parked in her driveway.

Police say the divers will check the Berkeley waters again this weekend to confirm the existence and identity of the submerged object.

"Saturday, weather and conditions permitting, divers will attempt to examine the object and determine what exactly it is," the police statement said.

Scott Peterson, Laci's husband, has not been named as a suspect in the case, but police say they have not ruled anyone out in the woman's disappearance.

Searchers have also worked outside Modesto county, looking in rural areas and waterways in Tuolumne, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Merced and Mariposa counties, Cloward said.

Police have received more than 1,100 tips through a hot line. A reward for Laci Peterson's safe return has grown to $500,000.


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