Saratoga County

Saratoga Springs Police following new clues in 25-year-old mystery

Police investigators believe the body of a 13-year-old city girl missing for 25 years could be burie

Police investigators believe the body of a 13-year-old city girl missing for 25 years could be buried somewhere near the southern end of Saratoga Lake.

But there will be no digging any time soon for the body of Tammie McCormick, said Sgt. John Catone of the Saratoga Springs Police Department.

“We won’t search for the body until we have done all the interviews,” Catone said on Thursday, June 16.

An investigation into the disappearance of McCormick was reopened last year and a former state corrections officer was identified as a person of interest in the case.

That person is Arthur M. Slaybaugh, a corrections officer who died at age 41 after a heart attack in 2001. Catone said the investigation continues.

“We keep plugging away, a little bit at a time,” Catone said.

Investigators with the state police Major Crime Unit are also helping city police in the case.

Police stressed that Slaybaugh, who lived in Broadalbin and Corinth at various times, is not yet considered a suspect in the missing person case.

Tammie McCormick, who lived in Geyser Crest, was 13 the last time she was seen by her family. She was reported missing by her family after not returning from what was then the junior high school off West Circular Street in Saratoga Springs on April 29, 1986. Her body has never been found.

Catone said investigators have interviewed more than 75 people over the past 12 months. The latest interviews took city police to Arkansas and Jacksonville, Fla. from June 3 through June 8. Catone said eight people were interviewed during this trip, including former friends of McCormick, family members of friends, and a former girlfriend of the late corrections officer, Slaybaugh.

“At some point we have to put the puzzle together,” Catone said about all the information gathered. When the information is organized it will be presented to city police and state police officials as well as the Saratoga County District Attorney’s office. A decision to start excavating to find the body could be made by these authorities.

Police have no specific time frame on the investigation because much of the work is done when investigators aren’t busy on more urgent investigations and cases.

Catone said police have a “pretty good location” where the body could be buried. He said there are three sites police are interested in near Brown’s Beach at the southern end of Saratoga Lake. He said the locations are not actually in Brown’s Beach, just that general area.

Slaybaugh once had an apartment near Brown’s Beach, police said.

Lt. Gregory Veitch, a police department spokesman, said earlier this year that city police investigators Catone and Glen Vidnansky have been interviewing or re-interviewing people in the case, some of whom were or are state corrections officers at the Mount McGregor state prison in Wilton.

“What we really want is closure,” Veitch said about the investigation. Police have regularly talked to Tammie’s mother.

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