With the search for missing Illinois mother Stacy Peterson wearing on and another woman's exhumed body under examination, friends and family members of both women grow increasingly suspicious of husband, Drew, despite his insistence Wednesday that he had nothing to do with either case.
The remains of Drew's third wife, Kathleen Savio, were exhumed this week after police reopened the investigation into her death, a decision made after the disappearance of Stacy, his fourth wife. Savio was found dead in a bathtub in 2004, just days before her divorce from Drew was finalized.
Results from an independent doctor regarding Savio's manner of death could take several weeks, but a grand jury reportedly is considering charges connected to the case.
A coroner initially ruled Savio's death an accidental drowning despite the fact there was no water in the bathtub and her hair was soaked from an apparent head wound. Authorities theorized that the water had drained from the tub after her death. Drew was the duty sergeant working the night that her body was discovered.
Savio's sister Sue Doman said today on "Good Morning America" that the family had always been suspicious of Drew, who is currently on unpaid leave from his police force. Doman said Savio also shared her fears before her death — in words that are eerily similar to what Stacy reportedly told friends.
"Just the Thursday before she passed away, she called me and she said — she just felt so strongly that that he was going to kill her and it was going to look like an accident. Take care of the children,'" Doman said, recounting the conversation.
Doman also described another instance in which Drew allegedly grabbed Savio as she came down the stairs and held her by her throat at knife point. "And he threatened to kill her," Doman said. "And he didn't care if he died either."
Doman is convinced that investigators examining her body will rule that Savio was murdered and was not the victim of an accidental death. She added that Stacy' disappearance only gives Savio's loved ones more reason to question her cause of death.
Stacy's friends and family remain equally suspicious of Drew's possible involvement in her disappearance.
"He's not asked anybody if we know where she is. Maybe because he already knows where she is?" said Sharon Bychowski, a friend of Stacy's.
Bychowski said she's particularly concerned about the four Peterson children, who remain in Drew's custody.
"It's just very sad that the older children have to endure losing one mother in a bathtub, losing another mother just several years later, and now the possibility of losing their father. Their whole world is upside down," Bychowski said.
In an interview broadcast on NBC Wednesday, Drew proclaimed his innocence and made a public plea for a defense lawyer. He also sent an unusual message to Stacy: "Come home, tell people where you are, and that's all I can say," he said in the interview, while laughing.
Drew also said that his young wife's numerous recent requests for a divorce were "hormonal," explaining that she had become depressed after the recent cancer death of a sister.
"Every woman in the world should be appalled by that," Bychowski said. "For him to say that, it's really, really ridiculous. He should be ashamed by that."
Drew says he believes Stacy ran off with another man. Her friends and family tell another story.
"'Sharon,' she used to say constantly to me, 'just remember, if I disappear, it is not an accident. He killed me.' She said it all the time," said Bychowski.
Stacy's stepsister Kerry Simmons said, "As controlling as he was, for him to switch off and act like he doesn't care that she left with another man? That would never happen."
Stacy disappeared the day before she was scheduled to meet with a divorce lawyer, friends said.
Drew has reportedly told the two younger children that their mother Stacy is on vacation.