Former investigators say Scott Peterson‘s car contained sleeping pills, a gun, a knife, camping gear and sleeping pills, among other things, immediately after his arrest in 2003.
Former Modesto, California, police detective Jon Buehler told ABC News in a new special Truth and Lies: The Murder of Laci Peterson that he believed Peterson may have been involved in the murder of his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son, Conner.
“I suspected Scott when I first met him,” Buehler said. “Didn’t mean he did it, but I was a little bit thrown off by his calm, cool demeanor and his lack of questioning … he wasn’t, ‘Will you call me back? Can I have one of your cards? What are you guys doing now?’ ”
Laci disappeared on Christmas Eve in 2002, when she was about eight months pregnant. Buehler and Allen Brocchini, who are both retired, were lead investigators in the case.
The remains of a male fetus washed ashore on a San Francisco Bay beach on April 13, 2003, and the next day a woman’s torso was discovered about a mile away from where the baby was found.
Scott had told detectives that he had been on his boat at the Berkeley Marina in Richmond, California, the day his wife went missing — about 90 miles away from the couple’s home in Modesto.
When the bodies were discovered, Brocchini and Buehler told ABC News that they knew they needed to speak to Scott.
“I just thought, ‘We’ve got to find Scott right now,’ ” Brocchini said. “He told me he was there and that’s where the bodies came up? I mean, I believe it was premeditated, he planned it.”
Brocchini and Buehler said Scott was driving his car, which had a tracker on it, erratically all over San Diego, causing them to fear that he might disappear into Mexico.
“Scott knew the area pretty well. That’s where his parents lived. That’s where he lived,” Buehler said. “So it wasn’t like he was going to have to get on MapQuest to try and figure out a way to get to Tijuana.”
“He was driving 80 miles an hour on a freeway and he would slam his breaks on, pull over,” Brocchini recalled. “It got to the point where we had a helicopter, lost him… either he’s going to kill somebody or one of these agents that are trying to follow him are going to get killed or kill somebody.”
When police finally pulled him over, Scott’s response to them was surprising, they said.
“First thing he says is, ‘Tell me it wasn’t Laci and Connor,’ ” Brocchini said. “I mean, you know, he already knew but I mean, that’s how he was.”
Once the remains were identified through DNA testing as the bodies of Laci and Connor, Scott was arrested.
Investigators found six pairs of shoes and enough socks and underwear for weeks in his car. They also found more than $300 worth of camping equipment along with a tent and a water purifier.
Fifteen laminated missing flyers for Laci that were never passed out or displayed were in his vehicle, as well as three cell phones, children’s books and a dozen Viagra pills.
“The guy had like, I don’t know, $14,000, $15,000, cash, he had his brother’s ID,” Brocchini said. “Hiking books and … a shovel and [a] fishing pole.”
“The guy is like James Bond without a secret agent mission,” Buehler added.
Peterson was convicted of two first-degree murders and sentenced to die in 2004. He is on death row at the San Quentin State Prison in California and is appealing.
Truth and Lies: The Murder of Laci Peterson airs on Thursday (9 p.m. E.T.) on the ABC.