Cop's Ex-Wife's Body to be Exhumed, While New Wife Remains Missing

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (AP) -- Authorities probing the disappearance of an Illinois police officer's wife say Sergeant Drew Peterson is now considered a suspect and the case has shifted from a missing persons investigation to a potential homicide.

Peterson has said his wife phoned him to say she was leaving for another man.

Investigators have also received court approval to exhume the body of Peterson's previous wife.

Earlier this week, the county coroner said the 2004 death of Peterson's previous wife, Kathleen Savio, had been mistakenly ruled an accidental drowning. There was no water in the bathtub where Savio's body was found and investigators theorized it had drained out. No charges were filed in Savio's death, and the coroner says it should have at least been ruled "undetermined."

In a court petition, prosecutors say a review of evidence in the case shows it may be "consistent with the 'staging' of an accident to conceal a homicide."

Savio's niece says family members support the decision to exhume the body. She says, "something just was never right."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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