CNN BREAKING NEWS
Woman Claiming to be Scott Peterson's Girlfriend Speaks Out
Aired January 24, 2003 - 22:20 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN HOST: The press conference in Modesto in the Laci Peterson case is about to begin. That's what's going on in the lower left-hand corner. Now the full screen. And we'll go there now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... information that does not compromise the investigation. Ms. Amber Frey will make a brief statement. And she will not answer any questions. Today, because of extensive efforts by some members of the media, Amber Frey was identified and contacted by reporters at her place of business.
She notified the Modesto police, and out of contact and her safety and privacy, she is prepared to give a statement. And she will not accept any questions. Ms. Amber Frey.
AMBER FREY: OK. First of all, I met Scott Peterson November 20, 2002. I was introduced to him, I was told he was unmarried. Scott told me he was not married.
We did have a romantic relationship. When I discovered he was involved in the Laci Peterson disappearance case, I immediately contacted the Modesto Police Department. Although I could have sold -- or sold the photos of Scott and I to tabloids, I knew this was not the right thing to do. For fear of jeopardizing the case or the police investigation, I will not comment further.
I am very sorry for Laci's family and the pain that this has caused them. And I pray for her safe return as well. I would appreciate to my friends and acquaintances to refrain from talking about me to the media for profit or recognization (ph). I am a single mother of a 23-month-old child, and I ask you to respect my privacy. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amber Frey had contacted the Modesto Police Department on Monday, December 30, 2002. She met with detectives and gave information about the relationship with Scott Peterson. This information was verified by a variety of means, and Amber Frey has been cooperative in the investigation and has been eliminated as a suspect in the Laci Peterson disappearance.
For the near future, we've asked Ms. Frey not to make any statements to the media. It is her desire that you respect her privacy. Please don't follow, harass or make any other attempts to interview her during the investigation. This concludes the press conference. And just a reminder, again, as we have in the past, we'll notify you if there's a significant event that occurred, and give you ample time to respond for a presser (ph). I will try to answer some questions, but I'm still limited, as I have been for the last month, in my response.
Hold on, hold on, hold on. We'll take one question at a time. And I'll decide who is going to make -- yes, sir?
QUESTION: Can you spell her last name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: F-R-E-Y.
QUESTION: And her first name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amber. And we will have a news release that should be available any second as soon as it comes down from upstairs.
QUESTION: Can you talk about whether Scott was romancing her even after Laci disappeared?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, that's going to be one of the areas that we're not going to go into -- yes?
QUESTION: Did she tell you anything about where he was on Christmas Eve? Did they speak to each other?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have that information.
QUESTION: Has she given the police any information?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes sir?
QUESTION: How old is Amber?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's 28 years old. Any other questions?
QUESTION: Has she given the police any information that furthers your case a little bit?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only information that we're giving out tonight is what we've already reported on and given in this press conference. We're not going to talk about any other information that she might be involved in as far as the investigation is concerned.
QUESTION: When was the last time that she (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, we're not providing that information.
QUESTION: How did she learn that Scott Peterson, her boyfriend, was who he is? Did she learn that through the media or watching it on television?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she stated in her statement that when she found out that Scott Peterson, who he was, she notified the police department. That was her statement. Yes? QUESTION: Did Scott have or not have a $250,000 life insurance policy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, that's an area that we're not covering in the investigation. Denise (ph)?
QUESTION: Where and how did she and Scott Peterson meet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, we're not going into that part of the investigation. Yes?
QUESTION: What was the date you said that she called you guys?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the 30th, I believe. December 30.
QUESTION: What made you rule her out as a suspect?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigators have a variety of ways that they've been able to eliminate her from the investigation.
QUESTION: Now can you tell us how long they've been seeing each other?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't.
QUESTION: Did he see her after Laci disappeared?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to go into -- anything pertaining to Amber and Scott Peterson, we will not be discussing any part of those other than what we talked about tonight. Yes, ma'am?
QUESTION: She actually did say she was introduced to him, and I didn't catch who introduced her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't remember that in her statement either. I read it before I came out here -- yes?
QUESTION: She said that when she saw that Scott was involved in her disappearance she called police. Did she just misspeak when she saw that he was the husband? Is that what she meant, do you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her statement I believe said that she did not believe -- she did not know that Scott was married at the time they had this relationship. That was her statement.
QUESTION: Did they have any future plans? Did she talk about that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not that I'm aware of.
QUESTION: Can you characterize how helpful she has been in your investigation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, as we reported a minute ago, she's cooperated in the investigation. We've eliminated her from... CHIEF ROY WASDEN, MODESTO POLICE: You know, we really do appreciate the media and all the effort and intention to help us find Laci. You have been a tremendous help in getting the word out on Laci. I do believe our entire nation and possibly most of the world is aware that Laci Peterson is missing and we want to find her. We want to find her and bring her home.
Now, what this is starting to do is border on pretty close to being destructive. We're not going to discuss with you the in-depth part of this investigation. We're not going to discuss with you Laci's -- the investigation and Laci. We're not going to discuss the relationships.
We're not going to discuss where or when or how. We've given the information that we feel we need to give, and we need to give that information so that a young woman, who had the courage to come forward and give us information, will not be harassed as she tries to go on with her life.
QUESTION: Why did you bring her forward tonight?
WASDEN: Because media people located her and were contacting her.
QUESTION: Is she from Fresno?
WASDEN: I'm not going to discuss where she's from.
QUESTION: Are you making progress in the investigation?
WASDEN: The investigation is moving forward, and we will continue to move the investigation forward.
QUESTION: Was Scott the one who told the detectives that he was involved with the girlfriend or was...
WASDEN: Let me do this one more time. We are not going to talk about what we have been told. We're not going to talk about what people have said. We've given the information we can give. The investigation is going to continue.
QUESTION: The family today asked Scott Peterson to cooperate completely with the Modesto Police Department. Could you again give us an indication of his level of cooperation or...
WASDEN: I cannot. I won't comment on those things.
QUESTION: Isn't it true (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
WASDEN: OK. I'm going to try to answer Ted's (ph) question, OK? Laci's family is going through a horrible time. And you all saw Laci's family today. And they are dealing with their life as a family.
I am not going to comment about Scott. This department is not going to comment about Scott. We're not going to comment about the investigation. And so -- I mean, I know it's frustrating to you that we can't make this case a public understanding of everything that's involved.
We cannot do that. It wouldn't be appropriate or right. So we're not going to talk those things. Laci's family has information that they've decided to share. I respect that.
I appreciate what they're going through. And you know, their appeal today, you heard it. Now, I'm going to go back here.
QUESTION: Isn't it true that we should focus on Laci and bringing her home, instead of tearing (ph) down the young lady and just respecting her life and (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
WASDEN: Well, that's our focus, is to solve this case and get Laci home.
QUESTION: You said she's been cleared as a suspect.
WASDEN: She's been eliminated as a suspect.
QUESTION: Can you tell us based on what?
WASDEN: No I can't. I won't discuss that.
QUESTION: Were the Rocha and Peterson families notified that she was going to come out and speak tonight publicly?
QUESTION: Chief, we haven't talked in a while, so as far as someone backing up Scott's story that they saw him at the marina, anybody come forward yet?
WASDEN: You know we're just not going to go down those paths. And we're not going to discuss those things. The investigation is continuing to move forward. We -- I believe when I checked just before coming down here have received close to 4,500 tips on the tip line at this point in time. There are continuing information and leads as the investigation evolves that we have to follow up on, and we're doing that.
QUESTION: Are you any closer to finding Laci now than you were the last time you briefed us?
WASDEN: I don't believe there's a significant change that I can articulate. Are we closer? I hope so. I don't know.
QUESTION: Is Scott now considered a suspect?
WASDEN: We have not eliminated Scott Peterson it from this investigation.
QUESTION: Do you know where he is now? WASDEN: I don't know.
QUESTION: What about forensic evidence?
WASDEN: We're not going to discuss any of the evidence.
QUESTION: Is this still a missing persons case?
WASDEN: Yes, this is still a missing persons case.
QUESTION: It's not considered a homicide case?
WASDEN: This is still a missing persons case. We would love to find Laci alive and well and bring her home safe.
QUESTION: Is the police department keeping tabs on where Scott is going?
WASDEN: We're not going to discuss that.
QUESTION: What's her profession?
BROWN: That's Chief Roy Wasden of the Modesto Police Department. There's a little sparring going on with reporters pretty clearly. The kinds of questions that reporters would like answers to, the status of the investigation, whatever sense the police in Modesto have about Laci Peterson's husband, Scott. Obviously now even more so, I guess, the focus of reporters' questions, not necessarily the focus of the police investigation.
We don't know that. In any case, lots of questions asked there, none answered. And so the relevant moment remains this rather dramatic and somewhat painful appearance of 28-year-old Amber Frey, who says that she met Scott Peterson on the 20th of November. That would be just a bit more than a month before Mr. Peterson's wife disappeared. That she was told he was unmarried, that they had a romantic relationship. Then she paused and expressed her sorrow to Ms. Peterson's family.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com