Forty-seven years ago, a mother of two left home after a heated argument with her husband. She never returned home, and to this day, her children are still searching for answers about what happened to her.
Patricia or ‘Patty’ Otto was only 24-years-old on August 31st, 1976, the night she went missing. At the time, she lived with her husband, Ralph, and their two young daughters, Suzanne and Natalie, in Lewiston, Idaho. She was studying secretarial training at a local college around the time of her disappearance.
Sadly, Patricia and Ralph had their fair share of marital problems and fought often. The same year she went missing, Patricia had allegedly filed for divorce from him, but they reconciled and got back together.
Around the time she went missing, Patricia and Ralph had allegedly been fighting more frequently, as he suspected she was seeing another man. On the night of Tuesday, August 31st, Patricia and Ralph got into a violent argument, and he claimed she had left their house without any of her belongings. Tragically, Patricia never returned home.
Patricia’s family reported her missing to the police two days later, on September 2nd. He allegedly told his daughters that Patricia didn’t want to be their mother anymore and had abandoned their family.
The Lewiston Police Department quickly suspected that Patricia had been murdered and saw Ralph as a prime suspect, although her body had not been discovered. In a series of interviews, Ralph’s stories about what happened to his wife that night were quite inconsistent.
Then, less than a year after Patricia’s disappearance, he was arrested for attempting to hire someone to kill the lead investigator on her case. However, his conviction was overturned in 1981.
A few years later, Ralph died after having a heart attack in jail, where he was placed on a charge unrelated to Patricia’s disappearance. Although his two daughters are currently convinced he was heavily involved in their mom’s vanishing, no evidence to prove he was has been found.
Patricia’s daughter Suzanne has been staying on the pulse of Jane Doe cases in her area, attempting to determine if any of them are her mother. She’s still searching for answers and has created a Facebook page, Patty’s Voice, to publicly post and gather information on her mother.