Amber Dawn Frey was the mistress of convicted murderer Scott Peterson. Peterson was found guilty of killing his wife, Laci, and his unborn child in 2002. Frey's six-week affair with Peterson was in the spotlight during the 2004 criminal trial. She was a key witness in his prosecution. Peterson is currently sentenced to death by lethal injection residing on Death Row in San Quentin State Prison.
The following accounts of Frey's short-term relationship with Peterson come directly from Frey as she recounts the brief courtship and events leading up to Laci Peterson's disappearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Other details of Frey's life have been disclosed mostly by family, friends, and opportunists.
Early Life of Frey
Frey was born in Los Angeles, California, on February 10, 1975, to Ron and Brenda Frey, who divorced when she was five years old. She graduated from Clovis High School in 1993 and attended Fresno City College where she achieved an associate's degree in child development. She pursued additional training in massage therapy from Golden State College in Fresno, California.
Frey and Peterson Get Connected
Peterson and Frey were connected through Frey's best friend, Shawn Sibley. Sibley had met Peterson at a business conference in Anaheim, California, in October 2002. Sibley says that Peterson told her he was single and wanted to meet an intelligent woman to have a long-term relationship with. Sibley told Frey about Peterson. Frey agreed to get connected over the phone. Peterson contacted Frey in early November and they made a date to meet later in the month.
The First Date
On November 20, 2002, Frey met Peterson at a bar. There they shared champagne and strawberries then left to have dinner in a private room at a Japanese restaurant. Their conversation flowed easily and Amber felt Scott was easy to be around. After dinner, they went to a karaoke bar, sang, and slow-danced until the bar closed. They returned to Scott Peterson's hotel room where they became intimate and ended up spending the night together.
Amber described Peterson as being very romantic and solicitous towards her and her 20-month-old daughter, Ayianna, by including her child on some of their outings together. With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Peterson explained to Amber that he would be on a fishing trip in Alaska. Up to this point, Peterson had not mentioned to Amber that he was married and that his wife was 7-months pregnant.
The relationship continued to grow between Frey and Peterson. Peterson made home-cooked meals for Frey and Ayianna. He took Ayianna Christmas tree shopping. The couple shared deep conversations about their lives and feelings. Peterson bought presents for Frey that demonstrated his sensitivity toward thoughts she had shared with him. Frey recalled one such conversation that was centered on the importance of trust in relationships. During that conversation, Peterson told Frey that he had never been married.
On December 6, 2002, Frey's best friend, Sibley, discovered that Peterson was married and she threatened to expose him to Frey. Peterson explained to Shawn that he had lost his wife and although it was difficult for him to talk about, he would tell Frey. On December 9, he told Frey that he had been married and lost his wife but found it hard to talk about. Frey asked him if he was ready for a relationship with her, and Peterson enthusiastically stated that he was.
Relationship Gets More Serious
Frey and Peterson attended a formal Christmas party on December 14. Frey introduced Peterson to her friends as her boyfriend. Later that evening they had sex without using birth control. Peterson commented that he didn't want children and regretted not taking precautions. He told Frey that he would willingly raise her daughter as his own, but to prevent the possibility of Frey becoming pregnant, he was considering a vasectomy. Frey found his revelation disturbing since she wanted more of a family someday.
Frey Learns of Peterson's Deception
Peterson told Frey he would be in Paris for New Years. He called her often during his travels. On December 29, Richard Byrd, a friend of Frey's and also a Fresno homicide detective, informed Frey that Peterson was married and his pregnant wife was missing. Once informed of Peterson's deception, Frey contacted the police and agreed to assist with the investigation by taping future phone conversations from Peterson.
Peterson's calls to Frey were sporadic over the holiday. One notable conversation occurred on December 31, when Peterson told Frey that he was in Paris at a bar with friends and described the "awesome" firework display at the Eiffel Tower.
Frey Maintains Contact With Peterson
Meanwhile, Scott had reported Laci missing at 6 p.m. on December 24, 2002, after he returned home from a fishing trip at the Berkeley Marina.
On January 6, Peterson admitted to Frey about his marriage and his wife's disappearance. He talked about the investigation and his innocence in murdering his wife. The following month, on February 19, Frey told Peterson they should stop talking until things were resolved with the murder of his wife. Peterson agreed.
On April 18, 2003, Peterson was arrested and charged with two felony counts of murder with premeditation and special circumstances: the first-degree murder of Laci, and the second-degree murder of his unborn child. He pled not guilty.
Media Catches on to Frey-Peterson Affair
In May 2003, Frey hired celebrity lawyer, Gloria Allred, to help with the hounding news media. Rumors and speculations about Frey were running wild even though she was tight-lipped and in seclusion.
David Hans Schmidt, a promoter, surfaced with a paid-subscription website of nude pictures of Frey taken at the Clovis modeling agency in 1999. Frey filed suit against him, stating that she never signed an agreement to give up her rights to the photographs. Eventually, Schmidt was barred from "commercially exploiting" photos of Frey.
In August 2004, Frey testified at Peterson's trial. The intimate details of their six-week relationship were revealed by her and the contents of the taped conversations were made public.
After her relationship with Peterson, Frey began dating long-time friend Dr. David Markovich in early 2003, a Fresno chiropractor, with whom she had a child, Justin Dean.
In 2006, Frey married Robert Hernandez, a member of law enforcement, in Fresno, California. The couple divorced in 2008.
She works as a massage therapist and is a writer known for Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution published in 2005, The Murder of Laci Peterson in 2017.
Crier, Catherine. A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation. ReganBooks, 2005.
“Amber Frey Speaks.” Scott Peterson's Mistress: Amber Frey Reveals Her Story To Oprah , 5 Jan. 2005, www.oprah.com/relationships/amber-frey-speaks_1/all.