Details of Disappearance Patricia was last seen in Lewiston, Idaho late in the evening on September 2, 1976. She got into an argument with her husband, Ralph Otto, and left the house angrily. She never returned.
Ralph didn't report her missing; her sister did, on October 8, more than a month after she was last seen. Patricia left behind all her belongings, including her car and her wedding rings, which she normally didn't remove. The rings were found in Ralph's coat pocket, but they have since been lost.
Patricia and Ralph's marriage was difficult and she had left on her own before. She filed for divorce in the spring of 1976, but later reconciled with her husband. They were fighting at the time of her disappearance because he believed she was unfaithful to him.
Authorities theorize she was murdered, and Ralph is the prime suspect in her disappearance. Less than a year after she vanished, he was convicted of hiring a contract killer to murder the lead investigator in Patricia's disappearance. The verdict was overturned on a technicality in 1981, however. Ralph died of a heart attack a few years later, while in jail on an unrelated charge.
Patricia left behind two young daughters who were raised by their paternal aunt and uncle. One of her daughters is now deceased. Her case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.
- Lewiston Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 2, 2015; picture added, details of disappearance updated.