Mar 5, 2013 8:42 AM by Shannon Davis - MTN News
BUTTE - Anaconda Police Chief Tim Barkell says the body that was found in the Clark Fork River near Galen on Saturday has been taken to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula.
Barkell told us he believes it is the body of Tammy Salle, 41, who has been missing since December.
"I'd just like to thank everybody for standing behind us when all the false information was coming out, most of the community kind of seen through that and they stood behind us," Barkell said.
This is the toughest case Barkell has dealt with during his time as chief, he said.
Fishermen reported seeing a women's body floating in the river near Galen, about three miles downstream from where Salle's vehicle was recovered.
Powell County law enforcement found Salle's car deserted on the Racetrack highway overpass days after her disappearance.
"We feel she was dumped off the bridge," Barkell said. "From there she got under some ice or something like that."
Barkell is nearly certain the body is Salle. Several tattoos match hers, including one on the lower back.
"There's also a tattoo of a butterfly on an ankle and a rose I believe," Barkell said.
Salle was last seen on December 23, and authorities have searched in and around Anaconda, as well as at the Butte-Silver Bow Landfill.
"We took a lot of heat for that, but we feel good about what we did," Barkell said.
Law enforcement was looking to question Salle's boyfriend, 38-year-old John Goldberg, but his body was found at a Missoula truck stop after Salle's disappearance. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Tammy Salle's mother has thanked law enforcement for their work on this case, according to Barkell.
DNA testing will be performed at the Montana State Crime lab in Missoula, with Barkell saying he's not sure how long testing will take.