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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 April, 2003, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Californian held over wife's death
Scott Peterson shortly after his arrest
Peterson: Denied having anything to do with his wife's death
A California man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife and unborn son after their bodies washed up on a local beach.

Scott Peterson - whose wife Laci disappeared while eight months pregnant - was arrested in San Diego shortly before the bodies were identified by DNA tests.

Police, who had been monitoring his activities for several days, reportedly feared he would attempt to cross the border into Mexico.

He is expected to be charged with double murder, prosecutors say, which would make him eligible for the death penalty.

The disappearance of Laci Peterson sparked intense media interest, with rewards of up to half a million dollars offered to those who had information relating to the case.

Mysterious disappearance

Peterson, 27-years-old and a supply teacher, disappeared on 24 December from her home in the agricultural town of Modesto, California.

Laci Peterson
Laci Peterson: Went missing on Christmas Eve

Her husband denied having had anything to do with the disappearance of his wife, saying he had gone on a fishing trip to a local marina.

Her parents made appeals and a reward of up to $500,000 was offered.

Then last week the decomposed body of a baby and later a woman, were found washed up in San Francisco Bay, about 90 miles (145 km) north of Modesto.

DNA tests showed that the remains were those of Laci Peterson and her son. It is not clear whether she actually gave birth.

The cause of death for both remains unknown.

Police said at the time of his wife's disappearance that Scott Peterson was not considered a suspect, however the couple's home, car and boat were searched.

Investigators also said there appeared to be no clear motive for the crime, however Mr Peterson later admitted he had been having an affair, although he said that his wife had known and that they were attempting to salvage their relationship.


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