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Though Drew Peterson was tried and convicted of murdering Kathleen Savio, the former police sergeant's missing fourth wife had a constant presence during the trial.
"They tried keeping her out of that courtroom, and eventually two profound statements were made by her, and that's what did it," said Pamela Bosco, a spokeswoman for Stacy Peterson, who went missing in October 2007. "They sealed his fate."
Judge Edward Burmila barred any mention of Stacy Peterson's disappearance during the trial, but jurors heard from her through the testimonies of Rev. Neil Schori and attorney Harry Smith.
Rev. Schori said Stacy told him Peterson disappeared from their home around the time of Savio's death. Smith testified she called him days before her disappearance and "wanted to know if, in my opinion, the fact that he killed Kathy could be used against him."
Though Peterson was never charged in Stacy's disappearance, many believe he had a role in her vanishing.
"Stacy's case is next, no matter what," Bosco told reporters Thursday after a seven-man, five-woman jury found Peterson guilty in Savio's death. "We still have to pay the price for Stacy. I still believe that's around the corner."
Stacy Peterson's sister, Cassandra Cales, said the family is in constant contact with police and hopes someone will come forward with new information. "This is the first step," Cales said.
James Glasgow, Will County state’s attorney, told reporters outside the Joliet courthouse prosecutors plan to review the evidence in Stacy's disappearance and "aggressively" seek to charge Peterson if possible.
"Obviously the longer any person is gone, the easier it is to prove that they haven't just simply run away and that they are deceased," Glasgow said. "October 28 of 2007 is way in our rear-view mirror now, so we're going to look at that case and assess it as it stands today. If we feel confident that we can go forward, we will be doing so."
Stacy's family said they never will give up hope.
"I love you and I miss you," Cales said when asked what she wanted to tell her missing sister, "and I'm never going to give up hope in finding you."
"We miss you," Bosco said, choking back tears. "This man has to pay for Stacy."