Evidence at Peterson Home Is Revealed

From Associated Press

A comforter apparently stained with blood was among numerous pieces of evidence seized from Scott Peterson's home in the days after his pregnant wife vanished, a police detective testified Monday.

Modesto Police Det. Ray Coyle testified he examined the Petersons' home for "blood spatter and blood drops" after search warrants were served on Dec. 26 and 27, 2002.

Coyle said he found small spots that appeared to be blood on a comforter on the couple's bed, but did not elaborate.

Det. Rudy Skultety, who was in charge of the searches, said the comforter was seized as evidence along with, among other things, two hair brushes, shotgun shells, a camera, a vacuum cleaner and samples of Scott Peterson's hair.

Skultety testified that the FBI used Luminol -- a chemical that can detect unseen traces of blood and body fluids -- in the home. He did not say whether anything was found.

However, on cross-examination Skultety acknowledged that brown stains found in the kitchen and on a water heater tested negative for blood.

Coyle also testified that as the search for Laci Peterson unfolded, he was charged with tracking down 309 registered sex offenders and parolees living in the area of the Petersons' home. Investigators were able to contact 285 of them, Coyle testified, adding that nothing led him to believe any were involved in Laci Peterson's disappearance.

Defense lawyer Mark Geragos then showed jurors a list of the offenders provided by Coyle that showed most of them had not been eliminated as suspects.

Coyle said the list had simply not been updated.

As the double-murder trial entered its seventh week Monday, prosecutors mainly focused on the search for evidence in San Francisco Bay and at the Petersons' home.

Prosecutors are still making their case that Peterson killed his wife in their Modesto home on or around Dec. 24, 2002, trucked the body to San Francisco Bay in a large tool box and plunged it overboard from a small boat.

Defense lawyers maintain someone else abducted Laci Peterson as she walked the dog and held her captive before dumping her body to frame her husband. Peterson, 31, could face the death penalty.

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