Mesa County authorities believe two bodies found in the Gunnison river Friday are the children of Linda Miracle, whose identification has been tentatively linked to a body also found in the river Sept. 26.
“Everything points to the fact that they may be the Miracle children,” Sheriff Dick Williams said Friday night.
But positive identification is underway today as homicide experts with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation perform autopsies on the corpses.
The discovery of the childrens bodies coupled with that of Patricia Botham, 25, found Thursday in the river and the tentative identification of Mrs. Miracle have led authorities to organize a homicide investigation under the Sheriff’s office. Police, CBI investigators and the District Attorney’s office will aid the investigation.
Williams said investigators will return to the river location today where all the bodies were found within a half mile of each other.
Mrs. Botham, Mrs. Miracle and her children, Troy, 5, and Chad, 3, disappeared from their neighboring residences in the 1900 block of Ouray on Aug. 23.
Friday detectives returned to the homes to get fingerprints, something police failed to do when investigating the disappearances as missing persons.
Williams said they will use the information turned over to the department by police to devise a theory about the homicides. And at the river they will try to figure out where the bodies were thrown in.
Williams said he is still uncertain how the victims were murdered. As of Friday night no arrests were maid in the case.
Detective working on the case will begin to interview family and acquaintances of the women as part of the investigation, but Williams said he was uncertain if polygraphs would be used in specific cases.
Positive identification of the body, believed to be Mrs. Miracle’s, should be ascertained sometime next week, Williams said
Unconfirmed reports from Montrose indicated the bodies of the children were male and were found with iron weights tied around their pelvic regions.
Both women were discovered in the same fashion.
Williams said the children’s bodies were badly decomposed, which was why identification could no be determined immediately.
When the women vanished, police said there was no solid evidence to indicate foul play or that the disappearances were related, although neither woman took personal possessions or used a family car.
Mrs. Botham’s husband, Kenneth, found his two sons, Thad, 2, and Thayer, 5, alone when he returned from an overnight trip to Ouray. Mrs. Miracle’s husband from whom she was separated, returned Aug. 24 from a truck driving trip to California.
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