Grand Junction, Colo. – The bodies of two small boys were found in the Gunnison River near here Friday, and authorities believe they are the sons of one of two Grand Junction housewives whose bodies were found nearby earlier.

All of the bodies had heavy railroad irons tied to them.  Sheriff Dick Williams of Mesa County said many such irons are stacked along the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad siding beside the river at the site.

Vanished Aug. 23

The women have been identified as Mrs. Linda Miracle and Mrs. Patricia Botham, both 25, who lived across the street from each other and vanished from their homes Aug. 23.

Mrs. Miracle’s sons, Troy, 5, and Chad, 3 disappeared with them, and it is their bodies which Williams thinks were found Friday.

All four bodies were badly decomposed and the causes of deaths hasn’t been established.  The women were identified – Mrs. Botham positively and Mrs. Miracle tentatively – through dentistry, but Williams said it may be impossible to identify the boys that way, depending on whether they ever had dental work.

Sites Pinpointed

Mrs. Miracle’s body was found Sept. 25 about 15 miles southeast of here and about a mile south of a county road bridge.  Mrs. Botham’s body was found Thursday about half a mile upstream.  The boys’ bodies were found about 120 yards apart just downstream from the bridge.

When they disappeared, Grand Junction police said the situation was suspicious, but there was no evidence to indicate foul play.

Neither woman took extra clothing or the family cars.  Prepared but uneaten food was on the table in the Miracle home, and a kitchen range burner was left on.

Sons in Yard

Mrs. Botham’s husband, Kenneth, found his sons, Thad, 2, and Ther [Thayer], 5 playing in the back yard when he returned home.  Mrs. Miracle and her husband, Delbert, reportedly were separated.  Williams said Miracle, a truck driver, was on a trip to California Aug. 23 and didn’t return to Grand Junction until the next day.

The sheriff said investigators have “lots of leads and lots of suspects – about anyone who knew them is a suspect,” but it is impossible to predict when arrests might be made.

He said 21 investigators, plus supervisors, from his department, the Grand Junction Police Department and Colorado Bureau of Investigation are working on the case.


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