Forty-one days passed before the uncertainty ended for relatives of Patricia Botham.

Linda Miracle’s relatives still face at least another week of uncertainty about her, and her two boys’ whereabouts are still completely unknown.

Ken Botham received word from the sheriff’s department at 3 a.m. this morning via a telephone call to come down to the department and identify personal effects taken from her body.  It was discovered late Thursday morning weighted down in the Gunnison River near Bridgeport, 22 miles south of here, and a half-mile upstream from the location of a body found Friday that has been tentatively identified as being Linda Miracle.

Sitting in an armchair in the living room of his parent’s home at 921 Glenwood this morning, Botham said the items he verified as being Patricia’s were her high school class ring and a solid platinum or white gold wedding band purchased shortly before she disappeared.

The wedding band color he was uncertain about, he explained, because she had had it for such a short time, as a temporary replacement for her matching wedding-and-engagement ring set, being replaced after a diamond had been lost.

Mesa County Sheriff Dick Williams said it is a white gold band.

Botham said he called her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert E. Jantz in Greenville, S.C., shortly before 4:30 a.m. with the news.

Picking up his two-year-old son Thad – who with his brother Thayer, 5, has been staying with his grandparents, and putting the quiet, blonde-headed youngster on his knee – Botham said of his wife, “she was (always taking) pictures of the kids at Bridgeport, ironically enough.  She used to like to go down there in the evening.”

He added Williams had been gracious in talking with him since the sheriff’s people entered the investigation Friday, “just a direct opposite of the police department.”

Jantz said he had known before Botham’s call that the body found Thursday was his daughter, but he declined to say how he knew.

“We had not expected her to be alive.  So in that sense it’s not a surprise . . . it’s a relief,” he said of the positive identification.

Both men said funeral arrangements are pending until the sheriff’s department completes a medical investigation of Mrs. Botham’s body.

Mrs. Ila Miracle, 481 Road 29, Linda’s mother-in-law said sheriff’s deputies told them of the tentative identification between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. at their residence.  She said they were told a positive identification should be made when more test results are returned Thursday.

She said Linda’s husband, Delbert, called her parents shortly afterwards with the news, and that her father is coming to Grand Junction sometime today from his Denver home.  Her mother is remarried and living in California.


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