Stacy Peterson's Sister Wants Missing Mother Declared Legally Dead

Peterson's husband, Drew Peterson, was convicted in September 2012 of first-degree murder for the death of his third wife

The sister of Stacy Peterson, the Bolingbrook mother of two who vanished nearly seven years ago, said she plans to file paperwork with the state to have her sister declared legally dead.

"That way it's known that she didn't run off," Cassandra Cales recently told the Southtown Star, countering the contention long-made by Peterson's husband, Drew Peterson, that she ran off with another man in October 2007.

Drew Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, was convicted in September 2012 of first-degree murder for the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. He's currently serving a 38-year prison sentence.

Though he's never been charged in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson -- his fourth wife -- many believe he had a role in her vanishing. Hundreds of searches have failed to yield any clues about what happened to the young mother.

Convictions in murder cases without a body ever being recovered are not impossible. On his website, former federal prosecutor Thomas DiBiase said there have been 380 trials between 1843 and March 1, 2013. The conviction rate was 89 percent.

"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," Will County States Attorney James Glasgow said after Drew Peterson's conviction in the Savio case, vowing to "aggressively" seek to charge the former police sergeant in the disappearance of his fourth wife if possible. 

9/6/2012: Cassandra Cales expresses hope that the first-degree murder conviction against Drew Peterson leads to information that helps find her sister, Stacy Peterson.
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