Dogs help search landfill for Anaconda woman

2013-02-16T10:39:00Z 2013-03-15T08:34:04Z Dogs help search landfill for Anaconda womanBy JOHN GRANT EMEIGH Montana Standard The Billings Gazette
February 16, 2013 10:39 am  • 

BUTTE — A dog handler and her two dogs joined other searchers at a local landfill Friday in a renewed effort to find the remains of a missing Anaconda woman.

Wendy Kessinger and her two search dogs traveled from New Mexico to help find 41-year-old Tammy Salle, who has been missing since Christmas. Anaconda police, troopers from the Montana Highway Patrol and agents with the state Department of Justice also helped search the part of the Butte-Silver Bow Landfill where Anaconda garbage is dumped.

Kessinger’s two border collies, Jetta and Saber, are “cadaver dogs” trained to sniff out human remains.

Anaconda Police Chief Tim Barkell said late Friday afternoon that searchers hadn’t recovered any remains of the missing woman during that day’s search.

Salle was reported missing to Anaconda police by family members on Dec. 26. Investigators presume she’s dead and the only suspect is Salle’s boyfriend, John Goldberg, who took his own life a few days after she was reported missing.

Donna Bahr, who is a family friend of the missing woman, was at the landfill Friday assisting with the dogs during the search. Bahr said she estimates that she has personally searched 800 miles of ground for Salle since she went missing nearly two months ago. She said she will continue to help in the search until Salle’s remains are found.

“We just need closure,” Bahr said.

She added that it’s Salle’s family’s strength and courage during this difficult time that keeps her looking for the missing woman.

“Even if we don’t find her here (at the landfill), we are going to keep looking until we bring her home,” Bahr said.

Dona Simmons, a spokesperson for the missing woman’s family who worked with the dog handler Friday, said that the dogs did “hit” on scents at the landfill. However, Simmons didn’t know if police found any human remains.

Anaconda police and other authorities spent about two weeks searching the landfill earlier this month, but found no clues. They went through about 400 tons of garbage. Authorities focused the search where Anaconda trash is dumped after an Anaconda sanitation worker reported dumping an unusually heavy trash bin.

After family first reported Salle missing on Dec. 26, officers questioned her boyfriend, 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.

Authorities found Goldberg, 38, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his pickup at a truck stop west of Missoula on Dec. 29. His suicide note gave no indication of Salle’s whereabouts.

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