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 Rob 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."