Image: Drew Peterson
Scott Olson  /  Getty Images file
Drew Peterson is a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.
updated 11/24/2007 7:15:49 PM ET 2007-11-25T00:15:49

The FBI will join the search for the wife of a former suburban police sergeant, whom authorities have called a suspect in her disappearance nearly a month ago, a spokesman for the federal agency said Saturday.

The FBI’s involvement comes at the request of the Illinois State Police, which is leading the investigation into the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, 23, from the couple’s home.

The case has led prosecutors to re-examine the 2004 death of Drew Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio. Authorities have said her death may have been a homicide staged to look like an accidental drowning.

Savio’s body was exhumed for a new autopsy. The state’s attorney’s office said it could be a couple weeks before investigators have results from tests on her remains.

Peterson, 53, who has not been called a suspect in Savio’s case, has denied any wrongdoing in her death and has proclaimed his innocence in Stacy Peterson’s disappearance.

He has said he believed his 23-year-old wife left him for another man.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice said the agency has no reason to believe federal laws were broken, which would give it jurisdiction. But it has agreed to help in the case, he said.

Charles Pelkie, a spokesman for the Will County state’s attorney, said FBI investigators will be briefed Monday by the state police. The FBI’s involvement will add manpower to the investigation and provide technical assistance during water searches, he said.

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