For the family of Laci Peterson, the pain of her death and that of her unborn son, Conner, is far from over, as it looks like this year it will be dealt with all over again in new court proceedings.
Laci went missing in 2002 on Christmas Eve, and her body was found four months later in the San Francisco Bay. She’d been pregnant at the time of her disappearance, and her son’s body was found a mile away from her remains.
Laci’s husband, Scott Peterson, was a suspect early on as authorities discovered he’d been having an affair, and in 2005 he was convicted of murdering both his wife and unborn son.
He was on death row for 15 years — but in 2020, things started to change for the convicted murderer.
First, his death penalty sentence was overturned, and then the California Supreme Court determined that a lower court would be looking at his case again to decide whether his guilty verdict should be overturned, according to People.
Now Peterson waits in prison, hoping that he will be released in the near future and telling his family that he thinks it’s a real possibility.
“He feels so gratified about that,” a family member said of him being moved from death row to prison. “He feels like it’s a big step towards his freedom. He’s feeling positive.
“He feels confident that he will get out of prison someday. He is hopeful that he will be a free man again. He feels encouraged based on the events of the last two years.”
Of course, the thought of such a thing is heinous to Laci’s family, who have made their position very clear.
“Two things will never change,” Sharon Rocha, Laci’s mother, told Peterson in court. “Laci and Conner will always be dead and you will always be their murderer. You betrayed her, your son and everyone else. You ended two beautiful souls.”
“Nineteen years, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my sister,” Amy Rocha said.
“There are no words able to express the pain associated with not being able to experience life together,” brother Brent Rocha added.
A family friend revealed that though the family is standing strong, there is real concern that Peterson could be made a free man.
“Scott has had some victories lately, and each one of them has been beyond painful for Laci’s family,” a close family source told People. “Just opening up old wounds and pouring salt in them. So they know that more could come. They’re preparing themselves for whatever is coming next, and they know it’s going to be painful either way.
“One thing that Laci’s family will have for the rest of their life is their unbreakable bond. And no matter what happens, they’ll rely on each other. They suffered something unspeakable in 2002, and they got through it. They’ll get through this as well.
“They’re bracing themselves like you’d brace for a punch. The last few years have been better, because he was where he belongs. But the idea of him being released from prison is devastating to them — and there’s a chance it could happen.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.