A woman’s decomposed body found Saturday in the Clark Fork River south of Deer Lodge has tattoos that match those of Tammy Salle, who has been missing since late December, Anaconda Chief of Police Tim Barkell said.
The chief said a fisherman reported seeing a body hung up in a shallow area in the middle of the river, along Interstate 90, about 10 miles south of Deer Lodge, near Galen.
The call came in at 2:42 p.m. Saturday, he said.
The chief said authorities could not confirm that the body is that of Tammy Salle. The remains will be sent to the state crime lab in Missoula for that to be determined.
However, though the body had decomposed, Barkell said tattoos could be identified, and that they matched those of Salle.
Barkell said investigators suspect the body, which is intact, was dumped upstream and snagged on the shallow area.
The discovery is the latest chapter in the suspicious disappearance of Salle, 41, of Anaconda. She was last seen Dec. 23, 2012. Her family reported her missing on Dec. 26.
Salle and her boyfriend, John Goldberg, had lived together at 506 Hickory St. in Anaconda. They had an argument Dec. 23, police were told.
On Dec. 28, a sheriff’s deputy found an abandoned 2008 Grand Prix — which she reportedly had been driving — on a frontage road near the Racetrack interchange, south of Deer Lodge near Interstate 90. One of the tires was “shredded” like it had a blowout, Barkell had said.
The vehicle was owned by Goldberg, 38. Authorities had been trying to find Goldberg to question him.
On Dec. 29, authorities found Goldberg dead in his 2010 GMC pickup truck parked at a truck stop west of Missoula, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was believed he had been dead for more than a day. He had left a four-page suicide note, but it contained no information as to Salle’s whereabouts.
Since that time, law enforcement and volunteers continued to search for Salle.
In the most recent effort, police and others spent two weeks combing through an estimated 400 tons of debris in the Butte-Silver Bow County landfill. They searched in the area of the landfill where Anaconda trash is deposited.
That search started Jan. 28 after investigators received a tip from an Anaconda sanitation worker who told police he picked up an unusually heavy trash receptacle on Dec. 24. This heavy trash bin was found in an area of other bins where police found bloody towels and rugs believed to be connected to Salle’s disappearance.
Barkell decided to end the landfill search because searchers had gotten down to the level where the discarded mail is dated back to October. Since Salle went missing in December, it was unlikely her body would be found at this level, Barkell told The Montana Standard.
Barkell told the Standard Saturday afternoon that he had no other information to release at that time on the found body.