BUTTE — Authorities have confirmed the body of the woman found in the Clark Fork River earlier this month is the Anaconda woman who had been missing since Christmas.
Montana Crime Lab results show that the body was that of 41-year-old Tammy Salle. Salle was reported missing on Dec. 26, and is believed to have been murdered by her boyfriend, who took his own life shortly after she went missing, authorities said.
The crime lab in Missoula released the autopsy report Monday to Anaconda police, which confirmed the identity of the body, said Anaconda police detective Ken Walund. The report indicated her death was caused by stab wounds, according to police.
Investigators suspect Salle was killed by her boyfriend, John Goldberg, who dumped her body in the river near Galen. Goldberg, 38, committed suicide by shooting himself a few days after police first questioned him about Salle’s disappearance in late December. He left a note, but it didn’t mention anything about Salle’s death or her whereabouts.
A relative reported Salle missing to police after she hadn’t heard from Salle in three days. This resulted in an extensive search that involved law enforcement and citizen volunteers. The search included about two weeks of sifting through the Butte-Silver Bow landfill, after police received a tip her body may have been dumped there.
A fisherman reported finding a body in the Clark Fork River on the afternoon of March 2. Anaconda police Chief Tim Barkell said at the time that tattoos on the body matched ones belonging to the missing woman. The following day, two other fishermen discovered Salle’s driver’s license partially buried in the riverbank about 500 yards upstream from where the body was found.
After family first reported Salle missing, officers questioned Goldberg, who told police they had a fight three days earlier. He told police she left in a 2009 Pontiac Grand Prix, which was later found on a frontage road south of Deer Lodge with a shredded tire. Barkell said the vehicle was discovered about six or seven miles from where the body was found in the river.