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Fulton County search for Tammie McCormick's remains yields nothing

Fulton County search for Tammie McCormick's remains yields nothing

Police continue to search for clues in disappearance

NORTHAMPTON — Two days of excavation at a Fulton County property where police were searching for the remains of a 13-year-old girl ended Wednesday afternoon, with no evidence found, police said.

Investigators began digging at the Route 30 property in Northampton on Tuesday, based on new information in the 31-year-old missing person's case. The new information allowed investigators to obtain a search warrant and begin digging.

They hoped to find the remains of Tammie McCormick, who never arrived at school the morning of April 19, 1986, and who hasn't been seen since. Investigators found nothing of use to their investigation, Saratoga Springs police spokesman Lt. Robert Jillson said.

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Tammie McCormick. (Courtesy CBS6Albany)

The effort, however, showed that the case is still active, and investigators are still working to find out what happened to McCormick.

"It's been 31 years, but she's not forgotten," Jillson said Wednesday, as investigators packed up their equipment and readied to turn the scene back over to the property's owner.

The Fulton County parcel is linked to Arthur Mason Slaybaugh II, whom police identified in 2011 as a person of interest in McCormick's disappearance, Jillson said. Slaybaugh, a correction officer at Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility in Wilton, died from a heart attack at the age of 41 in 2001. The Northampton property is owned by a brother of Slaybaugh, records show. 

Police previously talked to Slaybaugh family members and a former girlfriend. At least some information from those interviews led police to potential burial locations, police said in 2012.

The excavation is the latest destination for investigators in the long-running case. By 2012, investigators had interviewed nearly 100 people during the restarted investigation.

The investigation took police to seven states, including Florida, Massachusetts, Arkansas and Ohio. 

Investigators then also toured locations of interest, where the girl's body may have been buried. Those locations included two sites near the southern end of Saratoga Lake and two locations in Fulton County. The Route 30 site is in Fulton County.

The property has changed over the past 10 years. It was the focus of the first enforcement effort of the town's anti-blight law in 2007, newspaper records show. 

The town took the owner to court and won a $580 fine for a property described then as "littered with old boats, snowmobiles, camping trailers and other items."

The property owner could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

City police were assisted at the site by the state police. Jillson said the investigation remains active, and they are constantly looking for new leads.

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