Romantic link to Peterson a shock
Friends, family of 23-year-old woman reeling over reports
Drew Peterson cleans the snow from one of his vehicles in front of his home in Bolingbrook, Ill. Behind him, a memorial to his missing wife, Stacy, continues to be on display on a neighbor's property. Peterson's lawyer and publicist confirmed that the 54-year-old retired Bolingbrook police officer now has a 23-year-old fiance. Peterson said, "I am a happy man!" (Tribune photo by John Smierciak / December 17, 2008)
"She should think before she gets into something she can't get out of," said 54-year-old Joe Raines of Minnesota, who said he was Raines' uncle. "She needs to find somebody else. Nothing good is going to come out of this."
Raines, 23, was identified this week as the latest love interest of Peterson, a 54-year-old former Bolingbrook police sergeant who is still married to his missing wife, Stacy.
Investigators have named Peterson the sole suspect in Stacy Peterson's October 2007 disappearance. She also was 23 when she was last seen.
If Raines—who couldn't be reached Thursday—is engaged to Peterson, it would be at least his sixth fiance. If they married, she would be the fifth Mrs. Drew Peterson.
Peterson declined to discuss his engagement, which was confirmed by his publicist. Sources named Raines as his betrothed. Raines denied the relationship to the Sun-Times.
Raines' former boyfriend of five years, Tony Yauk, said he saw a ring on her finger, and he knows Raines and Peterson have been friendly for years.
"I didn't think it was true," said Yauk, 26, the father of her two children, ages 4 and 5. "But I just got done talking to her face to face and I think it's true."
Authorities are investigating Stacy Peterson's disappearance as a "potential homicide." They're also reinvestigating the 2004 death of Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, who was found dead in an empty bathtub.