After a flurry of activity in a tract of Peoria County forest briefly intensified the investigation into the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, the case has turned, publicly, all but silent once more. Authorities have not returned to a secluded site off West Grange Hall Road near Jubilee College State Park since police and an anthropologist carefully sifted soil where an informant tipped them the woman's body might be buried.

After a flurry of activity in a tract of Peoria County forest briefly intensified the investigation into the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, the case has turned, publicly, all but silent once more.


Authorities have not returned to a secluded site off West Grange Hall Road near Jubilee College State Park since police and an anthropologist carefully sifted soil where an informant tipped them the woman's body might be buried.


The search quietly began the morning of June 4 but gained national media exposure the next day, when it was abruptly halted with little explanation. Illinois State Police have said a search of the property would resume, though no timetable for a return to the land has been revealed.


Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy said Tuesday his department still is awaiting word from the lead investigators on the case.


"The Will County State's Attorney's Office and Illinois State Police District 3 said that when they return, they would contact us before they came," he said. "At this time, we're protecting the site, waiting to assist them when they return."


Stacy Peterson, the fourth wife of former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson, has been missing since October 2007. Drew Peterson has since been charged with murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and is in custody in Will County pending trial.


Sources have told the Journal Star that an inmate in the same jail as Drew Peterson tipped off investigators to the Peoria County site and described it with such accurate detail that authorities found the tip credible.


A cadaver dog hit on the scent of human remains in the vicinity. The location where investigators have been searching is too distant to be viewed from West Grange Hall Road but is off of the 7500 block on private property adjacent to a hunting club.


Drew Peterson was an avid hunter but had no known ties to the Peoria area. One month after his fourth wife disappeared, Drew Peterson revealed that he had received an unsigned letter alleging Stacy Peterson had been spotted in Peoria.


The letter, bearing a Peoria postmark, purported that a possibly pregnant Stacy Peterson had been at the Kroger store at the Madison Park Shopping Center. Police have never confirmed that information.


Matt Buedel can be reached at mbuedel@pjstar.com.