CLARENCE, N.Y. -- In the days and weeks after his wife was murdered by the Bike Path Rapist along the Clarence Bike Path in 2006, Steve Diver kept private; there was initial police suspicion surrounding him. Now, he's speaking out for the first time.
Steve told 2 On Your Side that his family's safety and security became his top priority. He and Joan had 4 kids.
"There was imminent danger basically, me being accused or going to jail or prison or whatever," he said.
Steve said he was bitter at the police suspicion. While the spouse of a victim is often thoroughly examined during an investigation, he said he should have been quickly ruled out.
"Looking at just statistics and saying that most of the time when a spouse is killed it's the husband, that's just not really an investigation," Diver said. "That's just not even good statistics."
Altemio Sanchez was arrested and charged with the Bike Path attacks in January 2007. That brought calm and closure to the community. But for Steve, relief was nowhere to be found, even after Sanchez admitted to his crimes and even apologized in court.
"At the time, I didn't feel like it made much of a difference," Steve said. "I think I was loathe to admit that it was a good thing, because I didn't want to admit that there was anything good that came out of Joan's death."
Joan is often on Steve's mind all these years later. She taught him to run to deal with stress in his job. After her death. Steve started running a lot.
He now runs a yearly marathon in Joan's memory.
"When I'm outside now, and I'm hiking or whatever, I really think a lot about Joan," Steve said. "I try to actually just soak up the experience, almost like i'm soaking up for both of us, because she's not able to see it."
Steve wants Western New York to remember his late wife not for what happened to her, but instead for what kind of person she was.
"The main thing I want people to know about her is how much she promoted children's needs and wanted to do the best for them," Steve said.
Steve said he never thought he could find that kind of love again, but more than a year ago, he re-married. And his new wife can relate to what Steve went through, because she lost her late husband to tragedy as well.
2 On Your Side's Michael Wooten will have that part of Steve Diver's story coming up Wednesday evening on Channel 2 News at Six.