Two Grand Junction mothers have vanished under circumstances relatives believe are far from routine.
One of the women’s two children are missing, too, but the other woman’s youngsters were found abandoned in her home.
The mystery was heightened because neither of the women, who are neighbors, used readily available family cars or bothered to take clothing, family members said.
Police said they have been unable to discover how the women left town or if they did. Bus, air and rail depot checks produced nothing.
In one home dinner was found prepared and served but not eaten. The range burners were left on.
The missing women are Linda Miracle, 24, of 1925 Ouray and Mrs. Patricia Botham, 25, of 1914 Ouray.
Also missing are the Miracle children, Troy, 5, and Chad, 3.
Mrs. Miracle June 15 reported to police she had been attacked in her home by a man who fled when she kicked him. She was hospitalized briefly because she hurt her foot.
The women were reported missing by relatives Saturday. Police haven’t found a trace they said today.
The Botham woman’s two children aged two and five, were found Saturday afternoon by their father, Ken Botham, playing in the backyard of the home.
According to Mrs. Miracle’s sister-in-law Vonna Murphy, the children had been alone all day and apparently when Botham checked at the Miracle home he discovered the woman and her two children missing as well.
Capt. Robert Burnett, of the Grand Junction police, said today a routine investigation of the disappearances is under way.
But Ms. Murphy said there is nothing “routine” about it. She said the Miracle home was left as if the family was ready to sit down for dinner and burners were left on. Mrs. Miracle’s purse was left in the home and her car remained in the driveway.
Mrs. Botham’s car was parked in her driveway as well, Ms. Murphy said.
Burnett said the investigation has turned up nothing thus far that would indicate foul play. He said detectives will interview relatives and friends of the missing persons to see if they can be tracked down.
Ms. Murphy said she believed Mrs. Botham was called by Mrs. Miracle to come over to the home.
Botham, a vice-president of Tri-Star Corp., was unavailable for comment this morning. Frank Simonetti, Tri-Star’s president, said Botham was “at loose ends” and didn’t know what to believe about his wife’s disappearance.
Delbert Miracle, of 481 Road 29, said he was told his wife was missing Sunday after returning from a trip to California. Miracle is a truck driver and makes weekly trips to California. He is separated from his wife, he said.
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