For a second straight day, federal agents and Illinois State Police troopers combed through Hammel Woods in Shorewood, searching for a sign of missing mom Stacy Peterson.
On Monday, a state police source confirmed troopers and FBI agents had launched a search for the vanished wife of disgraced former Bolingbrook cop Drew Peterson.
FBI spokeswoman Joan Hyde also said agents with the feds' Evidence Response Team were in the woods "working with ISP as part of an ongoing criminal investigation."
Despite persistent rain, agents and troopers were back at it Tuesday. The FBI provided a large recreation vehicle. On Monday, helicopters, boats and police dogs were employed in the joint operation. It was not clear how the inclement weather would impact the search effort Tuesday.
Trooper DeAnn Falat, a District 5 state police spokeswoman, failed to return calls for comment Monday and Tuesday.
Before starting the search Monday, the state police lied to Will County Forest Preserve officials and told them they were merely going to practice doing their jobs, sources said.
Stacy Peterson, who is Peterson's fourth wife, mysteriously disappeared on October 2007. Soon after she vanished, state police officials labeled her case a "potential homicide" and named Peterson the sole suspect in their investigation.
Throughout the last five years, Peterson has denied doing anything untoward to his missing wife. He has has also repeatedly insisted that Stacy, the mother of two of his six children, left him for another man.
Peterson has admitted that he does not know who this man is or where he and Stacy might have gone. Peterson has speculated his then 23-year-old wife and her mystery man may have taken off on a Caribbean vacation.
The state police have yet to charge Peterson with harming Stacy. But state investigators did arrest him in May 2009 for allegedly murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, who was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004.
Soon after Savio turned up dead, the state police decided she was the victim of a freak bathtub drowning. But three and a half years later, when Stacy vanished, the state police were forced to re-evaluate their findings.
Within weeks of Stacy's disappearance, the state police concluded someone killed Savio and staged her death so it looked like an accident. Officials also secured a court order to pull Savio's body from its grave so additional postmortem testing could be performed.
Nearly five years later, a jury found Peterson guilty of murdering Savio. He faces 20 to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 10.
This week's search effort was not spurred by new clues or information, a state police source said. Searches are conducted regularly in areas where investigators believe Stacy's body may have been left, and Shorewood contains a number of them.
Officials have said they pinpointed cell phone activity from Stacy's number in the Shorewood area around the time she disappeared, and Peterson's stepbrother, Thomas Morphey, has said Peterson enlisted him in an effort to frame former Shorewood resident Scott Rossetto for Stacy's murder.
Peterson believed Stacy and Rossetto were carrying on romantically behind his back, Morphey and other sources have said.
During a January 2010 pretrial hearing, Rossetto testified that Stacy visited him just days before she disappeared. He also said Stacy tried to kiss him and then asked him if he could “could keep a secret.”
“The night Kathleen Savio died, he came home very, very late at night,” Rossetto said Stacy told him.
“He was dressed in black,” Rossetto said. “He said, ‘If anybody asks, I was at home.’”