Stacy Peterson's husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson, is the only suspect police have named in her disappearance. Drew Peterson told ABC7 Chicago he did not know of Sunday's fundraiser. All along, he has maintained that his Stacy, his fourth wife, left him. The former police officer has not participated in the searches.
Organizers said Sunday's fundraiser, which took place in a restaurant, was needed to cover lodging, meals and all other associated costs of the continuing search, in addition to increasing the reward money being offered in the case.
"I would like to dedicate this to Stacy," a guitarist told the group gathered.
The ongoing search for Stacy Peterson, took on a different form Sunday as family, friends and complete strangers filled the building to raise money to continue funding the volunteer searches. There are plans to continue searching in earnest once snow melts.
" The number one thing we need most is fuel. It takes $500 in an airplane ride to map out an area and up to $500a day for a boat," said Peterson's neighbor Sharon Bychowski.
Organizers sold prepaid tickets Sunday, and items were auctioned off. The band gave their time, and the restaurant allowed use of the venue for free.
One woman attending the concert never met Stacy Peterson. Yet, she flew in from California for the fundraiser.
"I saw it on the news. And for personal reasons and some people that I know, I looked it on the Web site and found the forum and somehow got involved. I wanted to get on a plane and come out here," Julie C. told ABC7 Chicago.
Also present were family members of other people missing from the Chicago area.
"We share the same sad circumstance of having a missing loved one," said Melanie Greenberg, cousin of missing Plainfield woman Lisa Stebic.
Missing since October, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson is presumed dead by her family. Extensive searches have been conducted of the area around her Bolingbrook home, but relatives refuse to give up.
"We have a pretty good idea of what happened to her. It is just a matter of getting that person to justice," said Stacy Peterson's step-sister Kerry Simmons. "We are keeping in touch with the Savio family. We will have answers."
Drew Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, died in 2004. A coroner recently ruled her death a homicide.
The investigation into Stacy Peterson's disappearance continues. For more information, go to www.findstacypeterson.com.
Sunday's benefit concert was scheduled to end at 9 p.m.