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Man charged in 30-year-old local killing

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June Marion Collard
June Marion Collard went missing in 1980 from her Olmstedville home in Minerva. This week, her husband, Thomas A. Collard, 62, of Samson, Ala., was arrested after confessing to killing her. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

A former local man confessed Tuesday to murdering his wife 30 years ago in Olmstedville and disposing of her body, according to State Police.

Thomas A. Collard, 62, of Samson, Ala., has been charged with second-degree murder for the death of his spouse, June Marion Collard, who went missing three decades ago.

Collard's daughter, Tammy Vanderwerker of Warrensburg, said Wednesday that her father could be brought back to the region as soon as today or tomorrow.

She said she was "hurt in one aspect but relieved in another" and had always suspected her father was responsible for her mother's death.

Two State Police investigators who have been involved in the decades-long investigation into June Collard's disappearance - Karen DuFour and Scott Weightman - traveled to Florida and Alabama earlier this week after police developed new evidence in the case.

Thomas Collard confessed when the investigators interviewed him on Tuesday, according to a press release on the State Police website.

June Collard was reported missing on Nov. 27, 1980, when she was 30 years old.

Olmstedville is in rural Essex County, in the town of Minerva, about 7 miles northwest of Pottersville.

The Geneva County Sheriff's Department in Alabama took Collard into custody. He is being held without bail at the Geneva County Jail pending extradition proceedings.

June Collard's remains have not been recovered, but the investigation is continuing.

State Police Capt. Robert LaFountain said the agency may hold a press conference this afternoon to discuss developments in the case.

The charge against Collard came from Essex County Supreme Court, where Judge Richard Myer issued an arrest warrant charging Collard with second-degree murder.

 

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