Throughout the investigation of his wife’s disappearance Kenneth Botham maintained foul play was involved.
And he doubted police were on the right track in believing his wife Patricia had not left with Linda Miracle and her two children.
In an interview with The Sentinel Sept. 30 four days after the discovery of Linda Miracle’s body in the Gunnison River, Botham seemed certain police soon would discover his wife. It was two days later when Pat Botham’s body was found in the same section of the river near the bodies of Chad and Troy Miracle.
“I am still a suspect,” Botham freely admitted in the interview. But he explained with little prompting where he had been between Aug. 22 and 23, the time police believe the women and children disappeared.
He said he left his wife early in the evening Aug. 22 and drove to Ouray. He said he had witnesses to verify his presence there.
The Sentinel learned Saturday that Botham took a display ad out in the Ouray County Plaindealer Nov. 6 seeking the identity of a man with whom he had spoken to around midnight Aug. 22 in Ouray.
The ad read, “I desperately need to locate this man, in order to establish my whereabouts at the time of the recent multiple slayings which recently took place in Grand Junction, of which my wife was one of the four victims.”
Botham explained in the ad he had spoken to the man while attempting to locate a place to develop film and the man had told him to contact Joyce Jorgensen, publisher of The Plaindealer. Botham was looking for a darkroom.
The publisher said Saturday night Botham placed the ad in the paper Monday, but she could not recall hearing from him before that time.
During the interview Botham said he left Ouray early Saturday morning and returned to a location on Orchard Mesa. He said the driving time between Ouray and Grand Junction was too long for him to have been involved in the disappearances.
To support his belief his wife had met with foul play, Botham cited national crime statistics pointing out that the length of time his wife had been gone indicated she was probably dead. If she were, it was likely a family member would be a suspect, Botham reasoned.
When he was interviewed, the body of Mrs. Miracle had been found but not yet identified. Meanwhile, police had been suggesting the disappearance of the neighbors were not related.
But, said Botham of his wife: “If she could be here she would.” He said his wife would never leave their children alone, even though they were sleeping. The couple’s two young boys were found the same afternoon of Aug. 23 at their 1914 Ouray home when Botham returned about 4 p.m.
He said it was “probable” Mrs. Botham went to Mrs. Miracle’s house across the street at 1925 Ouray late at night Aug. 22. Botham said they often helped Mrs. Miracle when “she was in trouble.”
Botham believed his wife was clad in a nightgown, which would indicate she left under unusual circumstances.
Botham said police talked at length about Mrs. Miracle’s routine activities and visitors, he explained the woman “wasn’t a close friend of the family.” But on occasion the Miracle children ate meals at the Botham home, he said.
Many times, Botham explained, Mrs. Miracle would call for help with household problems.
During the interview Botham also spoke of the strangulation attempt on Mrs. Miracle. He said he gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after she screamed for help from her front door.
The incident, which sent Mrs. Miracle to the hospital for a few days, occurred June 15. Mrs. Miracle told police someone had entered her unlocked home and attacked her while she slept. She did not identify her assailant.
Throughout the interview, which took place in an office at Tri-Star Corp. where he is vice-president, Botham was candid and said he would “do anything” to find his wife.
He said she was a devout member of the Mesa View Baptist Church and would “never miss a church service if she could help it.”
Botham was sure that if his wife went to the Miracle home that night she “got into something over her head.”
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