For Laci Peterson's mom, the holidays mark a time of sorrow
Ten years ago, Sharon Rocha was expecting her pregnant daughter, Laci Peterson, at dinner on Christmas Eve. Instead, she received a call that Laci was missing.
Teams of police and community members scoured the woods and fields near Modesto, California, that night, again on Christmas Day, and for weeks afterward, but there was no sign of her. Four months later, her body washed ashore 90 miles away in the San Francisco Bay. She was 27.
But it is Christmas, not springtime, that stirs a deep sadness in Laci Peterson's mother.
Every Christmas season brings a reminder that Laci's life and her unborn son's were taken during what should have been a time of joy and anticipation.
"It's still hard to believe it happened, and that it's been 10 years," Rocha said Thursday over the phone, speaking slowly, her voice cracking. As the bright lights go up in the neighborhood, and Christmas carols fill the air, she says, "My mind wanders back."