What about the Peterson kids?

by Diane Dimond on November 28, 2007

Ummmmm, excuse me.

How is it that a man who’s last ex-wife was just exhumed to see if she was murdered – a man who appears to be the prime suspect in his current wife’s disappearance – a man who’s relative is reported to have told police he thinks he might have helped dispose of the “missing” wife’s body – can still be the primary caregiver to four children?!

I’m referring, of course, to the case of missing mom Stacy Peterson in Bollingbrook, Illinois.

Where the hell is the Illinois division of Child Protective Services?

An unidentified male relative of retired Police Sgt. Drew Peterson has reportedly told authorities that just after Stacy disappeared exactly one month ago (October 28th, 2007) he helped dispose of something heavy inside a blue plastic barrel. The barrel, he allegedly said, was “warm to the touch.” This relative was so distraught at what he might have helped get rid of that he was hospitalized two days later after he apparently tried to kill himself.

Is anyone but me worried about the fate of those four children?

While scores of searches are combing the countryside both in the air and on foot Drew Peterson sits holed up inside his house – well, when he’s not appearing on some TV program explaining why its so strange for him to be on “the other side” of an investigation. He has never – not once – participated in the search for his missing young wife. He continues to insist that she ran away with another man therefore the search is unnecessary.

Peterson recently gave an ABC reporter a tour of the inside of his house. He admitted he and the children are living with perpetually drawn blinds and paper over the windows. “You can’t even breathe,” he said. And because the news media is virtually camped outside the home the kids are virtual prisoners. They are not allowed outside to play or to see friends or, presumably, to go to school. The television must certainly be off limits, what with all the news about their “missing” mother and their “prime suspect” father. The children’s computers and I-Pods were confiscated by police during one of the two searches of the family home. What must life be like for those children?

Is anyone with any authority asking the important questions about the welfare of the kids? Who’s doing the grocery shopping and the cooking? Who’s making arrangements for them to keep current on their homework? Are they getting any psychological help to get them through this terrible ordeal?

I fear it is only going to get worse for those children. Two of the children are the teenage sons of Dad’s third wife, Kathleen Savio. As the autopsy on her remains continues the DuPage County coroner was quoted as saying he thinks the original declaration of accidental death was mistaken. The State’s Attorney now says the Savio case was “likely a homicide.”

In other words: the noose is tightening. Dad’s options are becoming fewer and fewer. If they never find Stacy Peterson they might try to prove that he killed Savio. And Dad is an experienced police officer. He knows how these investigations go. He knows how law enforcement slowly and methodically ties up the loose ends, applying ever more pressure on the suspect before they finally swoop in and make an arrest.

Most horrifying of all to me is the fact that Dad is trained in how to use guns and he very likely has some inside that house where they all sit now and await the outcome of this tragic saga.

It’s been reported that Sgt. Drew Peterson is a control freak, full of petty jealousies and suspicions of infidelities. He is a 53 year old man married to a 23 year old wife who had recently told him she wanted her freedom. He views himself as the Alpha-male, not to be questioned and always to be feared. But now he knows Stacy had kept a secret journal in which she chronicled his bullying tactics and their ever more frequent fights.

Those children could be in mortal danger, especially the little ones Stacy bore him. They are just 2 and 4 years old. If Sgt. Drew Peterson suddenly feels trapped, if he sees his only way out is at the end of a gun barrel, what if he decides to take the kids with him?

All this might sound dramatic to you – but you know what? It happens all the time.

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