Dental charts are the key factor in identifying the body of a woman found early Friday afternoon in the Gunnison River near Delta.
The body is so badly decomposed that authorities have been unable to identify it through facial features or fingerprints.
Early today Mesa County Sheriff Dick Williams declined to rule out any of three missing Grand Junction women although some dental charts have already been compared with the body by Sheriffs investigators Milo Vig and Mike Smith.
Williams said the department is waiting for experts in the forensic lab of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to verify the detectives’ findings before disclosing any information about the body.
The body was sent to the CBI lab in Montrose Friday to be frozen for an autopsy scheduled to begin Monday.
Williams explained that some difficulty was encountered in trying to get all the dental charts of the missing women. They include Denise Oliverson, 24, last seen in town April 6; and Linda Miracle, 25, and Patricia Botham, 25, neighbors on the 1900 block of Ouray who vanished Aug. 23.
Mrs. Dewey Miracle, mother-in-law of the missing Miracle woman, said today she was unable to locate Mrs. Miracle’s dentists until late Monday afternoon. Two local dentists submitted dental charts this morning to Sheriff’s investigators, she said.
Ken Botham, husband of Mrs. Botham, said in the initial investigation of his wife’s disappearance police requested the name of her dentist. But Botham was not sure whether they have obtained her chart yet.
Mrs. Oliverson’s father, Robert D. Nicholson, said he also provided police with names of his daughter’s doctors upon initial investigation of the disappearance.
“If they haven’t gotten them (dental charts) by now, I imagine the police would have contacted me,” he said.
Body identification will also include examining bones to see if any were broken at one time and compare that information with the known medical histories of missing persons in the area.
In addition to the missing women here, Williams said the department is receiving inquiries about missing women from Denver, the DeBeque canyon area and one from Gunnison. All together authorities are looking into the cases of seven missing women in hopes of identifying the body.
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