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Missing Anaconda woman's ID found in Clark Fork River

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 11:12:15 AM MDT
Updated On: Mar 04 2013 10:40:47 AM MST
GALEN, Mont. -

"You don't really just find an ID out on the ground, especially out on the the river without it being out there for some kind of reason" said fisherman Claude Boiteau, about a startling discovery he and his friends made Sunday afternoon.

They were fishing on the Clark Fork River east of the community of Galen, when they came across a driver's license.

"It was kind of sunk in the sand a little bit, so I could just see the top half. I couldn't see a face or anything" said Boiteau's friend Jason Roed.

They pulled it out, and read the name 'Tammy Salle' across the top.

"We kind of thought we might be in the vicinity of where the body had been recovered" Boiteau said.

They realized they'd just discovered a huge clue in the disappearance of a missing Anaconda woman.

Just a day earlier, two different fishermen were in the same area and came across a female body. Tattoos on the body matched tattoos Salle had. Police were certain it was her, but were waiting on confirmation from the Montana State Crime Lab.

Salle disappeared from her Anaconda home on December 23rd. Her boyfriend, 38-year-old John Goldberg, was the main suspect in her disappearance. He committed suicide a week later, leaving no clues to Salle's whereabouts.

When we caught up with the fishermen on Sunday afternoon, they were just getting ready to turn in the ID. So we called Anaconda Police Chief Tim Barkell, who immediately came out to retrieve it.

"We're finally going to have some closure I hope for the family" Chief Barkell said. "I can only imagine what they're going through."

He also told us a few more details about the discovery of Salle's body- like an apparent stab wound.

"It looked like a cut mark in the neck area" Barkell said.

He said they think the body was thrown into the river from a bridge on Galen Road.

He thinks it floated down river about a mile and a half to the shallow spot where the fishermen found her.

Barkell said it's a miracle these men uncovered such a major clue. He said it was like finding "a needle in a haystack."

And the group said they're glad they could help.

"We're happy we're able to find something to kind of maybe give the family a little bit more closure" Boiteau said. "So If we can do that much, we'll be happy. It'll make us feel good."