JOLIET, Ill. — A forensic pathologist told FOX News’ Greta Van Susteren his examination of the exhumed body of a police officer’s wife shows her death was a homicide.
“It is my opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty … that it is a homicide,” former New York City chief medical examiner Michael Baden said. “That is what I would have put on the death certificate.”
The ruling concerning the death of Kathleen Savio, the third wife of former Illinois police officer Drew Peterson, contradicts a 2004 decision by a coroner’s jury that Savio, whose body was found in a bathtub, died of an accidental drowning.
Peterson has been named a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who disappeared on Oct. 28.
Baden said signs of struggle including bruises on the hands, chest and abdomen still were fresh with purple discoloration but there were no fractures. Although there were no bruises on her arms, Baden believes she may have drowned by having her head pressed under water.
“I don’t think there is any possibility this was an accident,” he said. “I don’t think there is any evidence this was a suicide.”
Baden told FOX News the 2004 jury might not have seen all the evidence related to the case at the time of the verdict.
Baden said Savio’s family was suspicious of the death because she had been wearing jewelry and her hairstyle was different than her normal pattern when bathing and they had not heard from her in the 36 hours before the incident.
Baden said that even though evidence points to homicide it does not automatically mean there was criminal murder.