A Sister’s Undying Love: Cassandra Cales on Stacy Peterson
Four and half years ago, Stacy Peterson made a late morning call to her family. That was the last anyone has heard from her. Despite extensive searches, no trace of her has been found. Her husband, Drew Peterson now resides in the Will County Adult Detention Center in Joliet, Ill. Not for anything to do with Stacy, however. He’s there awaiting trial for the murder of the wife before Stacy, Kathleen Savio. Two years ago, Stacy’s sister Cassandra Cales posted this on the family’s website:
We have given up hope in finding Stacy alive however we have never given up hope in bringing her home, putting her to her final resting place and fighting for the justice she deserves.
There is still an ongoing investigation with the Illinois State Police District 5. I Cassandra Cales and other members of the family continue our own searches and investigations. Some of you may think that because our searches have not been made public, or because I don’t make public statements, that we are not actively moving forward. As I stated in the beginning I would not stop searching until I find Stacy, I am and will continue to look for Stacy, following all leads until I bring her home.
Shortly after Stacy’s disappearance, I got the chance to talk with Cassandra. Here, from 2007 is that story.
She has become the public face of determination. Her strength and devotion have rallied others for one common goal–to find her sister, Stacy Peterson. Twenty-two year old Cassandra Cales lives each minute of every day working herself to exhaustion trying to find Stacy. While she’s athletic and physically strong, her heart aches with a pain no one can comprehend. Stacy and Cassandra were very close–constant companions whether in person or on the phone. They were soul sisters to the core. Now Cassandra feels the worst has happened. Her sister, just a year older than her is gone and Drew Peterson, a rogue cop, a disgraceful cop human being and also Stacy’s husband is behind it.
News reports in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, Ill., show Cassandra trying hard to be strong. Marching from the home of Drew Peterson’s former wife’s home, a wife who died under suspicious circumstances, to the home of Stacy, Cassandra stayed strong. Cameras continued to roll when she broke down. She didn’t want the world to see her tears. But there they were. The raw emotion of a sister on a mission. A sister, everyone should be so lucky to have.
“She was so precious to me,” Cassandra said. “He took her away from me and it’s tearing me up inside.”
That “he” is Drew Peterson. As Cassandra cried, he would clown around in front of TV cameras joking about the weight he’s lost since Stacy left. He’s considered a suspect in Stacy’s disappearance. His previous wife’s death is now also being re-investigated.
“She’s the only one in the world I loved more than anything,” Cassandra told me.
Stacy and Cassandra were close throughout their lives. “We were all we had when we were growing up. We were best friends. And after Tina passed away, we made a pact that no matter what, we’d be together. Through thick and thin and always be there for each other.” Tina Ryan died of cancer last year at just 30.
And they never strayed from that pact. When Cassandra was in the hospital in her teens, Stacy would be with her everyday. When Stacy married, they remained close. “We’d talk several times a day by phone and see each other every other day or every couple of days.” Stacy has two children two-year old Lacy and 4-year-old Anthony. She also adopted her husband’s two boys. She doted on all the kids and would never leave them willingly.
That’s how Cassandra knew something was wrong October 28. She filed a missing person’s report after not getting her daily phone call from Stacy. Her husband claimed she’d run off to Jamaica with a boyfriend. Nobody believed that. Searches began and continue with Cassandra a big part of them. So far, no leads.
Cassandra spends her days now printing fliers, searching and using the internet to get the word out about her sister. And she spends a lot of time crying. She can’t even see Stacy’s kids at the moment. “I called to see if I could have them for Thanksgiving and over night and he said no.” That’s pretty rough considering the kids look at her as their favorite “aunty.”
Last week, she posted a blog. She called it “A Sister’s Love!” and no one could write it any better. Here’s a portion of it. The rest can be found on the Myspace page she created for Stacy.
I just wanted to tell you all that it really touches my heart to see you all sending me and my family your love and prayers. I know I’ve been doing my best to try and stay strong. But I truly believe it is you all that are lifting me up with your prayers and messages you send me. So let me tell you about my sister Stacy Ann Cales (I don’t consider her a Peterson) she was the most wonderful person you could ever meet. She could walk into a room with people she didn’t know and bring a smile to everyone’s face. Granted I could do the same. Which is why we were so close, we did everything together, from the time we were lil taking baths together til just 2 1/2 weeks ago just hanging out and being there for each other. When one of us was down for whatever reason we would be there for each other. She would always call me a bunch a times a day just to see how my day was going and how I was feeling, and tell me how my lil nephew’s and niece were doing….When we would be in her Denali (SUV) with all the kids me and Stacy would sing all loud and goofy, to embarrass Thomas and Kristopher. They would laugh and giggle thinking we were crazy. But we just liked to have fun, and make others have a good time. Me and her were two pea’s in a pod, that I thought could never be split apart. I have to say that this is the worst pain I’ve ever felt, I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. From this great tragedy comes great strength. I will not stop looking for my sister until she is found. She would have done the same thing for me. God lets everything happen for a reason, so all we can do is keep praying and let him guide us to her. It’s only a matter of time before we do find her. Thank you all for being here for me through these harsh times. It really means a lot.
“I look at her pictures everyday and tell her I love her,” Cassandra told me. “And I tell her I won’t give up.”