Peterson Trial: Dog Tracked Laci's Scent

Peterson Trial: Dog Tracked Laci's Scent
01 September 2004
Lyndon Stambler

Scott Peterson's double-murder trial went to the dogs Tuesday afternoon.

Taking the stand: Eloise Anderson, a member of the Contra Costa Search and Rescue Team and the handler of a trailing dog named Trimble.

Anderson told the jury that on Dec. 28, 2002, four days after Scott's pregnant wife, Laci, had disappeared, she gave Trimble a scent from Laci's sunglasses at the Berkeley Marina.

"She took a straight line all the way out to the pylon," Anderson said, pointing to an aerial shot that showed a slender dock heading out into the Marina.

The Labrador retriever then "stopped, checked out over the water, face into the wind, turned around and gave me the end of trail indication. I stood for a minute to see if she would move on or stick to the end of trail indication."

Trimble then gave a "hard end of trail indication."

Trimble next proceeded along a short area of the dock jutting out to the right. "She went down about three feet down to the corner, made a circle, down to this pylon, stood for a minute to see, turned this way, went down there, turned around and stopped," said Anderson as jury members appeared riveted by what appeared to be a significant piece of the prosecution's circumstantial case.

Prosecutors believe that Scott Peterson, 31, killed Laci in their Modesto home, then dumped her body from his boat into the San Francisco Bay. The former fertilizer salesman has pleaded not guilty.

Anderson is scheduled to face cross-examination on Wednesday, though Judge Alfred A. Delucchi has indicated that prosecutor Dave Harris has the flu, so the trial may move on to another witness.

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