Suspect Cop's 1st Wife: 'This Is Very Tragic'

Carol Brown says she would be surprised if Drew was involved in wives' deaths.

ByABC News via via logo
February 19, 2009, 3:20 AM

Nov. 19, 2007 — -- Drew Peterson's first wife said that her ex-husband could be a bit overbearing during their marriage, but that she would be surprised if he was involved in the suspicious death of his third wife or his fourth wife's disappearance.

Carol Brown, Peterson's first wife, told "Good Morning America" that "never in a million years" would she imagine a scenario like the one that's playing out in suburban Chicago.

"It's heartbreaking to think about the children," Brown said, referring to Peterson's teenage children with Kathleen Savio — who died in 2004 — and the two young children he has with Stacy Peterson, who has been missing since late October.

Brown, who was married to Peterson in the 1970s and has two grown sons with him, said that the two of them grew apart and that she discovered he was having an affair with another woman before the couple ultimately divorced.

Brown said Peterson, now 53, did not like her going out to bars with her girlfriends, but she also said she would not expect violent behavior.

This weekend, Peterson, who resigned from the police force last week and already has been named a suspect in Stacy's disappearance and possibly Savio's death, said the media scrutiny has taken a toll.

"I've lost 30 pounds," he said to reporters outside his home. "Jenny Craig's got nothing on me, 'cause I lost 30 pounds through this ordeal."

Savio's body was exhumed last week when police reopened the investigation into her death, originally ruled an accidental death by drowning. After examining her body Michael Baden, a renowned forensic pathologist, said that Savio's death was a homicide.

"She had about a dozen bruises on her body, including a laceration on the back of the left side of the head," Baden said. "You don't get that in drowning in the bathtub."

Savio's sister Sue Doman said, "There was marks on her hips, her arms, her elbows, on her legs."

Baden also found fresh bruises on Savio's chest and abdomen and what appear to be defensive wounds on her hands — evidence, he says, that her death was no accident.

But Peterson, who as the duty cop that night was the first emergency responder to the scene of Savio's death, dismissed the doctor's findings.

"If you look at the news clippings and everything that's been said by Mr. Baden before he came out here. I mean, make your own conclusions," Peterson said.

Peterson's attorney said it was no surprise that Baden ruled the death a homicide, as he had publicly said a week ago that he suspected the death had not been accidental.

Baden defended his cause of death determination and batted back criticism from Peterson's attorney about his position as a paid commentator for Fox News.

"I had a pre-existing opinion before I did the exhumation. I did. But that's why exhumations are done, to make sure the pre-existing opinions are correct," Baden said. "The findings are independent."

An official autopsy ordered by the state was also conducted, but the results will not be available for days.

This weekend, dozens of friends and neighbors held a candlelight vigil, marching from Savio's home to Peterson's house, just down the street. Their signs asked the question no one has been able to answer for three weeks now: "Where is Stacy?"

"I miss Stacy and I'm not giving up until I bring her home," Stacy's sister Cassandra Cales said.

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