WARNING: This content may contain graphic content disturbing to some viewers. 

WALLA WALLA, WA - Patricia Lee Otto has been missing for more than four decades, last seen in Lewiston, Idaho on August 31, 1976. Her daughter, Suzanne Timms, has been investigating her mom's disappearance since her adulthood.

"Because my whole life, my dad and his side of the family told me that she left but she would not have left me." said Timms. 

She was reported missing to Lewiston Police Department. The missing person case is open to this day in Lewiston, but the homicide case in Oregon is closed. However, when the case was first filed in Oregon, it was labeled as a murder case but thrown out and closed in 1990 when no identity or cause of death was confirmed. 

"How then can you throw out the case and discard all the evidence?" said Timms. 

Two years later, hikers hiking near Finley Creek in Oregon near Elgin (Union County), came across the skeletal remains of a body and reported it to the Union County Sheriff's Office. This was August 27, 1978. 

Two of the hikers, she discovered only recently were her father-in-law Rob Parr (when he was 8 years old) and her grandfather-in-law, Lee Parr. 

"I found a newspaper article front page on the Le Grande Observer that documents their names. But the reason we never made that connection is Grandpa Parr died and my father-in-law was a kid at the time who grew up assuming the body was identified and taken care of - never knowing that was my biological mother." said Timms.

"He was explaining to me what it was like when they found the remains and I have the photos of the crime in my hand and he's describing exactly the same thing I'm seeing. She's face down, buried in the dirt, she's face down." continued Timms.

"We were walking down a game trail and I can't imagine what my dad said but he saw something and then we came across the skeleton." said Parr.

"And I remember the boots were in between her skull, her feet were in between her head." he continued. 

The skeleton is missing a pelvis, some ribs, and an arm. Suzanne, Rob, and a canine unit that Suzanne hired went back to that same area near Finley Creek to see if they could find them. The dog identified remains still there.

After her mother went missing and Timms's father, Ralph Otto, was incarcerated for hiring an undercover cop to kill the Lewiston Chief of Police at the time (for trying to question the family on Patty's disappearance), Timms and her sister were adopted by their paternal aunt and received visits from their mom's side of the family.  

While in jail, he gave this statement to the detective assigned to Patty's case, Detective Tom Saleen. 

"I quit taking lithium in here because it's a hassle - he (the psychiatrist) asked me what I thought about the whole thing. And I told him that I felt I'm doing time here because I murdered my wife. There was no crime here - committed on anger. You guys knew my brain was about to break." said Ralph Otto in the documented statement. 

When Suzanne was a child she also saw Ralph grab her mom - the detective then asked “Let me ask you Ralph, did you kill Patty?”

Ralph answered “No way, there might have been times that I wanted to kill her, you know what I mean?"

"Did you ever tell anyone you did?" asked Saleen.

"No." said Ralph.

"How about your brother, Ray, did you ever tell Ray that you killed her?

"That night that he came and took me to Orofino. I was sure that I had done something to her you know I was sure that I had.”

Suzanne even has proof of patty’s last purchases before disappearing.

"Her Avon purchase for her makeup was the last thing she bought. And when the Avon lady came to deliver her order, my father informed her she wasn't coming home and to never call the house again." said Timms.

The body was found by the hunters near the intersection of Finley Creek and Dry Creek, dubbing the woman as "Finley Creek Jane Doe."

But Patty's case has been closed since 1990. Oregon State Police closed the case after finding no identity nor the cause of death. They discarded all evidence as well as her body - cremated in Walla Walla Mountainview Funeral Home. 
 
Then came one day - the day Facebook gave Suzanne a clue about her mom.
 
"So in 2021, I'm scrolling through Facebook and I see myself on a missing person's poster and I swear that picture is me and I realize I'm not the missing person that's my mother." said Timms.
 
Timms says the ashes have no identification and are tng in the Walla Walla coroner's office.
 
"How did she end up in a box in the coroner's office and is that even her?" said Timms. 
 
Suzanne has been living in Walla Walla since 1999.
 
"It kind of makes me feel like that's why this is home. She's been here with me the whole time. It makes me wonder that my mom just been here and she's saying "honey, find me and fix this." said Timms.
 
"I feel that no one wants to accept fault." said Timms.
 
Ultimately, it's not about fault - but rather, that she get closure and answers on her mom and move forward to help enact legislation so that this does not happen again. 
 
Union County Police would have to reopen the case.
 
"At 3 years old you don't just suddenly forget you don't have a mom and I just needed a body to prove it and I believe the Finley creek task force found that body we just have to figure out how to prove it." said Timms.
 
Now, Suzanne is working to get Union County or Oregon state police to reopen the case so that they can officially go to the Finley creek site and investigate. She had a meeting with Union County's District Attorney on Monday. OSP and Union County also had a meeting a few days ago. OSP sent this statement:
 
"The Oregon State Police cannot comment on the Idaho missing person case of Patricia Otto.  The Oregon State Police has reviewed these cases and compared the dental records of both the unidentified person and those records of missing person Patricia Otto.  Although both sets of records are old and incomplete, several inconsistencies between the two records have been noted and based on this information, the unidentified decedent found in Union County is unlikely to be Patricia Otto."
 
 
But when Suzanne compares her mother's dental records to the skeleton, she says they're similar. The next step is to test the DNA of the cremated remains.
 
"I'm literally gunna have to go and dig up my mom's arm to reopen this case that shouldn't have been closed."
 
Follow Patty Otto Facebook pages such as Patty's Voice and Finley Creek Jane Doe - Elgin, OR for more information and donate to Suzanne's fundraiser for DNA testing on the ashes.