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DNA tests verify bones are remains of accused killer's wife

MINERVA - A state Police laboratory has identified the human remains dug up at the former home site of Thomas A. Collard as belonging to his wife June Collard, who disappeared in 1980, police announced Friday.

Thomas Collard, who confessed to killing her, state police said, is now being held in Essex County Jail on a charge of second-degree Murder.

Aug. 10, State police unearthed the bones at 76 Wilson Rd. in Olmstedville, where the Collard trailer stood decades ago.

Thomas Anthony Collard, 62,was charged with Murder after he was questioned and arrested several weeks ago in Alabama.

When questioned by state Police investigators, Collard allegedly confessed to causing the death of June Collard, describing in detail how he had disposed of her body.

Thomas Collard's signed confession said June Collard had come to his home - they had been separated for some time - and after an argument, he punched her and she then fell through a door and hit her head against a hot water tank, authorities said.

In his statement, Collard said he checked for signs of life, but found no pulse or breathing, and later dumped June's body out a window into a hole that had been dug for a septic system, according to the confession, police said.

After June Collard's disappearance in 1980, Thomas Collard told authorities he believed she had left town with another man. She was 30 years old at the time of her disappearance - under suspicious circumstances - which left several of her children motherless.

(Valley News Editor Matt Bosley contributed to this report.)

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