Drew Peterson knows what people are saying about him. He knows there are many who believe he murdered his third wife, Kathleen Savio – whose 2004 drowning was ruled an accident – and that he had something to do with the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, the pretty mother of their two young children who has been missing since Oct. 28. He knows that as a suspect in Stacy's disappearance, he could be arrested at any time. Yet Peterson, 53, who gave PEOPLE a wide-ranging, two-hour interview Nov. 18, says he can handle the pressure because he knows one other thing: He is innocent. Did he kill Kathleen Savio? "No," he insists. Does he know where Stacy is? "I don't." Does he think she is alive? "I hope so," he says. "I miss her."
Peterson seemed composed and relaxed during the interview, despite facing the possibility that his wife may be dead and his ex-wife may have been brutally murdered. He teared up only once, when discussing the day Stacy disappeared, but otherwise showed little emotion. His claims that he did nothing wrong, however, cannot stop the investigation that is starting to tighten around him. While the search continues for Stacy, 23 – and her loved ones continue to insist she would never walk out on her children Lacy, 2, and Anthony, 4 – authorities have impanelled a grand jury to reexamine the Kathleen Savio case. On Nov. 13 investigators exhumed her body to perform another autopsy. Test results won't be available for several weeks, but Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow has already said the case files alone suggest Savio's death was a homicide staged to look like an accident. "We always knew what happened to Kathleen was not an accident," says her brother Henry Savio, 49. "And we knew it was going to happen again."
On Newsstands Now
- Brad's Devotion: The Inside Story
- Oklahoma Tornado: Heroic Rescues
- Michael Douglas on Catherine's Health
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine