Laci, Conner Peterson buried in small town California cemetery
ESCALON, Calif. — The bodies of Laci and Conner Peterson were buried together Friday in a small-town Central Valley cemetery, eight months after their disappearance from Modesto set off an intensive search that ended in April when their bodies surfaced in San Francisco Bay.
About 250 family members and friends attended the 30-minute service at quiet Burwood Cemetery, releasing first a pair of doves, then 20 more that circled twice above the grounds and flew north into a bright blue sky.
“The two were Laci and Conner. The rest were angels sent to help follow them to heaven,” said Peterson’s stepfather, Ron Grantski, at the service attended by a reporter from The Modesto Bee.
Not among the mourners was Peterson’s husband, Scott, who remains in Stanislaus County Jail on charges of murdering his pregnant wife and unborn son. Though Peterson has maintained his innocence, Stanislaus County authorities plan to outline their case against the 30-year-old fertilizer sales at a Sept. 9 preliminary hearing.
Modesto police arrested Peterson for the murders on Good Friday, days after his wife and unborn son surfaced separately near Richmond.
The burials followed a funeral mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Modesto, where the Rev. Joseph Illo told mourners, “Laci represents every daughter whose mother has had to bury her.” He said, “If any death was senseless, Laci’s was. Why did she and Conner die? What insanity drove the killer to destroy such beauty and such life? A young mother and her son. For this there is no direct answer.”
Moments before the two were lowered into the ground in a single casket, Grantski said, “She was the light of my life. The animal that did this to her is going to pay.”
Contra Costa County coroner’s officials released the bodies Aug. 22 after conducting autopsies and allowing Peterson’s defense team to inspect the remains.
A public May 4 memorial service in Modesto on Peterson’s 28th birthday drew 3,000 people.
On the Net: http://www.lacipeterson.com