Laci Peterson's parents, Dennis and Sharon Rocha, met while Sharon Rocha was a freshman in high school. The two quickly formed a serious relationship, and married soon after Sharon Rocha graduated from high school. They subsequently moved into new three-bedroom house located on Dennis Rocha's 365-acre ranch. Sharon Rocha attended Modesto Junior College for a short while before she decided to become a full-time mother. In 1971, Dennis and Sharon Rocha had their first child, Brent Rocha. Four years later, they gave birth to Laci, on May 4th, 1975.
A year after Laci's birth, Dennis and Sharon Rocha divorced (she would later tell Scott Peterson that he could have opted for divorce, as well ). In Sharon Rocha's opinion, her marriage to Dennis ended because they married too young. Some have inaccurately reported that Dennis Rocha made the decision to leave Sharon Rocha, a claim she adamantly denies, insisting that she was the one to leave and move out. At one point, they tried to reconcile, but the attempt proved futile.
Sharon Rocha moved to San Jose in 1977, but felt that the city was too large for her. She soon moved back to Modesto. Upon her return to Modesto, her cousin Gwen Kemple introduced her to Ron Grantski. A year and half later, Grantski and Rocha moved into a three-bedroom home with Brent Rocha and Laci Peterson. They never married.
In 1989, Laci Rocha began attending Thomas Downey High School. In 10th grade, at the age of 15, she met her first boyfriend, who attended a different school. Their relationship was short-lived and was ended by Laci's boyfriend. By that spring, Laci had found a new boyfriend, Kent Gain. According to Sharon Rocha, Gain exhibited signs of anger management issues, but Laci insisted on dating him. The relationship lasted into Laci's college years.
Having completed high school, Laci was accepted into the top college of her choice: California Polytechnic State University. At first, Kent Gain planned on attending Cuesta Junior College, but decided to go to Cal Poly with Laci instead. Sharon Rocha feared that Gain would have a negative effect on her daughter's ambitious attitude toward school, but this did not strain the relationship between Gain and Laci. In fact, the two lived together in Laci's new home in Morro Bay, a small town north of Cal Poly.
At Cal Poly, Laci Rocha majored in ornamental horticulture. Her desire was to one day open a specialty plant shop. In addition to her busy class schedule, she became an honorary sorority member, joined several clubs, and managed the on-campus plant shop. While still in her freshman year, Laci Rocha announced to her family that she had split with Kent Gain, concluding that they were not suited for each other. In 2000, Gain was sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree assault with a gun against another woman. According to some, Gain was still proclaiming that he was in love with ...