North Idaho

Contentious divorce preceded triple drowning

Contentious divorce preceded triple drowning

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A woman who died in Fernan Lake last week along with her two young children was involved in a contentious divorce at the time of her death.

The death of these three people could very well be a terrible accident - it's harder than you might think to get out of a sinking car, especially if you are also trying to rescue your kids – however, the boat launch where Misty Phelps and her young children perished is well-marked and well-lit and it's hard to imagine someone, especially a long time Coeur d'Alene resident like Miss Phelps, mistakenly driving down it.

That is why Major Crimes detectives are taking a closer look at this case, including the fact that Phelps was trying to divorce her husband.

According to court documents, the couple were supposed to go to trial on Oct. 27, but on Nov. 1 that trial was reset for Dec. 15.

Two days after the divorce case was rescheduled, Phelps and her family were found inside her submerged car.

Her father says there is no way Phelps would do anything to hurt her children, even under the stress of pending divorce.

"She was a wonderful mother," said Ed Maki, Misty's father. "She loved her kids and she would have not done this to them. Something else happened."

Detectives are trying to recreate the last 24 hours of Misty's life and would love to search her cell phone, but we don't know if that was lost to the water inside her vehicle.

The results from the autopsies in this case have not been revealed and investigators continue to pursue all possible explanations for how this happened.