Update: Starting To Accept 'The Worst'

Last week's police search of the Modesto, Calif., home of Laci and Scott Peterson brought new trauma to the family of the missing pregnant woman. Investigators won't say what was among the nearly 100 items they hauled away, but the search spawned a rumor that Laci's body had been found under the house. Laci's family remains convinced Scott Peterson hasn't revealed all he knows to police. Public suspicion fell on him in January after a woman told police she'd been having an affair with him in the weeks before Laci disappeared. Peterson insists he's innocent. Police will say only that Peterson is not a suspect but hasn't been ruled out as one, either. (He didn't return NEWSWEEK's calls.)

In the weeks after Laci's disappearance in December, her family concentrated on asking the public to report any sightings, and checking with hospitals. But now they are focused on finding her body. In recent weeks, her brother, Brent Rocha, has led hundreds of volunteers in boats, on horseback and on foot in searches of three local reservoirs. "That's my whole focus right now," he told NEWSWEEK. "We're coordinating our searches with the police department, and they think we should be looking in water," says Rocha. "We've realized that the worst-case scenario might have occurred."