Two young male murder victims whose bodies were found in the Gunnison River last Friday were shot to death.

The bodies are apparently those of Troy, 5, and Chad, 3, sons of Mrs. Linda Miracle.  Mrs. Miracle and Mrs. Patricia Botham, both 25, disappeared at the same time.  The adults’ bodies have been positively identified.

But Sheriff Dick Williams said Dist. Atty. Terrance Farina, in pinpointing the cause of the two youngsters’ deaths today, declined to reveal the location of the bullets, the number, the caliber of the gun from which they were fired or the distance from which they had been fired.

“That’s all we’re going to say,” Farina said.

No cause of death had been established shortly before noon today for Mrs. Miracle, mother of the two boys, or Mrs. Botham.

“We know they weren’t shot,” Farina said.  The bodies are still undergoing tests, and the pathologist is trying to determine (the cause of death).”

There has been no indication of sexual molestation found on either of the two women’s bodies, Farina said.

“I’m not ruling anything out,” he added, when asked if this was absolute assurance there had been no molestation.

Meanwhile, pathologists established today that the woman’s body found first was definitely that of Mrs. Miracle.  Identity of Mrs. Botham’s body was established Thursday.

The search by sheriff’s deputies continued today at the stie [site] where the four bodies were found in the Bridgeport area.  Mrs. Miracle’s body was discovered Sept. 26, and the other bodies were found Oct. 2 and 3.  All were decomposed.

A bulldozer which had been used to divert the channel of the river was pulled out, and deputies hoped to begin scouring the riverbed in an attempt to find any further clues to the murders.

A search was also being conducted along the railroad tracks and the road by the bridge.

The three Miracles and Mrs. Botham disappeared from their neighboring residences in the 1900 block of Ouray on Aug. 23.  Their absence was discovered the afternoon of Aug. 23 when Kenneth Botham returned to his home to find his two sons, Thad, 2, and Thayer, 5, alone.  Botham had been on an overnight trip to Ouray.  Mrs. Miracle’s husband, from whom she was separated, returned Aug. 24 from a truck-driving trip to California.

A press conference was secheduled [scheduled] at the sheriff’s office later today to discuss further progress in the murder investigation.


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