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Police clear 'other' woman in Peterson disappearance

Says she ended relationship with missing woman's husband

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Amber Frey acknowledged a romantic relationship with Scott Peterson.

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Amber Frey says that she met Scott Peterson a month before his wife, Laci, disappeared and that she was unaware that he was married. (January 25)
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MODESTO, California (CNN) -- The woman who was having an affair with Laci Peterson's husband came forward Friday night to say she did not know Scott Peterson was married and that she was not involved in the pregnant woman's disappearance.

The Modesto Police Department said the woman, Amber Frey, 28, has been eliminated as a suspect in the disappearance of Laci Peterson, who is eight months pregnant with a baby boy.

Frey said she met Scott Peterson on November 20, 2002, and had a "romantic relationship" with him, and that she thought he was not married.

"I am very sorry for Laci's family and the pain this has caused them, and I pray for her safe return as well," Frey said. "I would appreciate -- [for] my friends and acquaintances -- to refrain from talking to the media for profit or recognition."

Frey said she is the single mother of a 23-month-old child. She works for American Bodyworks, a massage therapy business in Fresno, California, according to her boss there, Damien Bery.

"She's a great employee," Bery said. Bery declined to say whether Scott Peterson had ever been a customer.

Neither police nor Frey disclosed how the two met.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Frey indicated that she had given police photos of herself with Scott Peterson.

"Although I could have sold the photos of Scott and I to tabloids, I knew this was not the right thing to do," she said.

Frey said she contacted police in Modesto, California, when she saw news of Laci Peterson's disappearance.

Earlier Friday, Laci Peterson's family spoke to the media for the first time since learning of the affair last week.

Her older brother, Brent Rocha, said that during a phone conversation with Scott Peterson on January 16, his brother-in-law acknowledged having an affair with a Fresno, California, woman. He said that because Scott Peterson had not been forthcoming with the Rocha family before that and because he was no longer communicating with the family, "I am no longer supporting him."

Laci Peterson was last seen Christmas Eve. In the weeks that followed, suspicion has mounted that Scott Peterson hasn't been sincere in helping police locate his wife.

Modesto police haven't named Scott Peterson as a suspect in his wife's disappearance, but they haven't ruled him out, either.

Two other family members also spoke to reporters, making tearful pleas for Laci's return.

Amy Rocha, Laci's half-sister, was the first to step up to the microphone Friday, but could only get out, "This past month has been the most painful time I've ever experienced," before she became overwrought with emotion and stepped aside.

In a written statement to the media afterward, she called on Scott Peterson to cooperate more fully. "While I trusted him in the beginning, I now believe that he has lied to our family," the statement said.

Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha, said the family's "one and only focus" since Christmas Eve has been finding Laci.

"I love my daughter so much," Laci's mother said. "I miss her every minute of every day."

Mother pleads for daughter's return

Her voice cracked, and her eyes filled with tears as she spoke of all of the things she misses about her daughter. She mentioned Scott Peterson only once during her two minute appeal, saying only that she missed listening to her daughter "talk about her future with her husband and her baby.

"Someone has taken all of this away from me and everyone who loves her," Sharon Rocha continued. "There are no words that can possibly describe the ache in my heart and the emptiness in my life.

"I know that someone knows where Laci is -- and I'm pleading with you, please, please let her come home to us. You can send an anonymous letter to the police department telling them where she is or make an anonymous call to the police tip line at 209-342-6166."

Sharon Rocha continued by asking the public to contact police with anything that seemed odd or suspicious, no matter how minute.

"This may be the missing link to finding Laci," she said.

Brent Rocha said he wanted only two things: the public's continued support and for his brother-in-law to fully cooperate with the Modesto Police Department.

His voice cracked several times when he spoke as if directly addressing his sister, saying, "As your older brother, I only wish I could have been there to defend you against the person who has taken you. My search for you will never end."

After the Rochas finished reading their statements, they left the room without taking questions. The news conference lasted less than 10 minutes.


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