published Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Gail Palmgren's Jeep found on Signal Mountain, no body found inside

Law enforcement officials set up near 1419 East Brow Road on Signal Mountain today.
Law enforcement officials set up near 1419 East Brow Road on Signal Mountain today.
Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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ROAD CLOSED

The W Road will be closed to traffic from Mountain Creek Road to the top at East Brow until further notice, police report. Residents who live on the W Road will be requested to show identification before being allowed to continue to their homes.

  • Gail Palmgren's Jeep found, no body inside
    The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol located Gail Palmgren's Jeep Rubicon on the side of Signal Mountain near the W Road on Thursday. There was no body inside the vehicle. Palmgren has been missing since April 30.

  • photo
    Gail Nowacki Palmgren's red Jeep Rubicon, with a flowered "Life is Good" spare tire cover that was last seen driving. The 44-year-old women has been missing since April 30, 2011.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Jeep found
Get directions:  To here - From here

Authorities are suspending the search for Gail Palmgren until tomorrow morning after the missing woman's Jeep was found today with no body inside, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said.

The Signal Mountain woman has been missing since April 30.

An air search conducted this morning by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol resulted in the discovery of the wrecked vehicle located between the East Brow on Signal Mountain and the W Road.

Cadaver dogs will be brought in tomorrow, said Hammond, although he added it's too early to speculate if Palmgren was in the car at the time it went over the ledge.

The car's Alabama plate reads, "EAZY ST" where her family has a lake house in Wetumpka. The vehicle was found in very heavy undergrowth and officials have yet to determine how to remove it.

"[The vehicle is in] very rugged terrain, deep piles of leave, it's tough to navigate," said Hammond.

Residents had noticed that one of the large rocks that was on the edge of the road was missing but they didn't connect to the missing woman.

Hammond said a second vehicle was also found nearby, but they do not believe it is related to the case.

Repellers used 600 foot ropes to get to the Jeep.

The Palmgren family was called and notified an hour into the search.

In a previous interview a few months ago, Hammond said aerial searches of the area probably would begin once the leaves fell off the trees.

Palmgren, a mother of two children, was last seen on April 30, dropping her children off at her home at 40 Ridgerock Drive on Signal Mountain.

Sheriff’s office investigators have said there is no evidence of foul play in Palmgren’s disappearance.

Matthew Palmgren, Palmgren’s husband, consented to searches of the couple’s Signal Mountain home, their Alabama lake house, his mother’s apartment and a Red Bank storage unit, but he has not given a statement to authorities.

He also has placed the couple’s Signal Mountain home on the market.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press. Follow the latest news updates on Facebook

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astinnett12 said...

If she is in the car, the accusations against her husband leave me fearing that it could be any of us if our spouses disappear. Didn't the husband lose his job?

December 1, 2011 at 2:04 p.m.

Yes he did. I hope everyone who convicted him ahead of time without evidence remembers the lesson if it turns out she is in the jeep. This is why we are innocent until proven guilty no matter what slant the media puts on it.

December 1, 2011 at 2:10 p.m.
Salsa said...

So much for the folks who said that a helicopter search wasn't going to find anything.

December 1, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
littleturtle said...

He wasn't fired for being a suspect. He was fired for misuse of company money/email after blatantly prancing his mistress around work, not going to company paid conferences and lying about being there, and running around with mistress while he was supposed to be at the conferences. Mistress was fired too. Saying you on going to a company-paid conference then using the time/money as a personal vacation, and then getting caught in the act, is a no no.

December 1, 2011 at 2:14 p.m.
chet123 said...

Hmmmmm Flyingpurple....see you ready to close the case already....dont let the husband off that fast.....

This why you have to keep an eye on these guys(republicans)....People like fyingpurple dont have value for a woman life.....all this man value is a dollar bill

December 1, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.
skyboxer said...

She could have been drugged and the Jeep run off the edge. It'll be interesting to see where the vehicle went off ... the brow all through there has walls, barricades and big rocks to keep people from parking alongside the road.I'm surprised no one saw evidence of a vehicle going over the edge -- unless it was simply eased over and let roll.

December 1, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.
laylax3 said...

YES HE DID!!! I think it is completely absurd that all the accusations came so quickly. We, as humans, are always quick to accuse someone or put someone at fault. That's why people are wrongfully convicted in some cases. Maybe this will open a lot of eyes.

December 1, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.

Are you kidding me? The Jeep may have been right off the W-road the whole damn time? Heads need to roll in our local law enforcement! Especially in the rent-a-cop Signal Mountain Police Department!

December 1, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.
noapathy said...

Why in the world would anyone assume that just because they found her Jeep or possibly her being inside that the husband isn't STILL involved somehow? The circumstances (her calling the police on him several times before her disappearance) are too suspicious! Wait for it all to come out before condemning people for their hunches, especially her family and friends that knew her the best. It will all come out in due time!

December 1, 2011 at 2:26 p.m.

The article states 1419 East Brow Road. That's where it went off. Google street. There is clearly no guardrail or wall so it could have been an easy spot to drive off.

December 1, 2011 at 2:28 p.m.
skyboxer said...

We've examined the street via Google Street. The rocks are too big to drive over with a normal car ... someone in a Jeep with higher clearance would still have to expertly manuever the vehicle to get it over the rocks lining the road. This is, clearly, not a distraught housewife flooring it and aiming her vehicle for edge of the cliff. There are FAR better locations along the brow to run a vehicle off on purpose. YOu would have to WORK to get a vehicle to go off there.

December 1, 2011 at 2:35 p.m.
skyboxer said...

Make no mistake about it either ... they ARE processing the car and location as a full blown crime scene.

December 1, 2011 at 2:36 p.m.
newhome33 said...

WoooW....Its amazing with the abundance of Law&Oder type shows and mystery movies, that we now have soooo many experts who just know that the husband had something to do with it...give me a break..It is very sad that this woman has been missing and will be even sadder if her remains are in that jeep, but lets be real... people take their own lives everyday for whatever reason, but to automatically blame the next person in line is very unfair.. If he did it, he will be judge on it and if he didn't...well he will still be looked upon as if he did... No-one seems to think about the kids...

December 1, 2011 at 2:39 p.m.
jharvey1984 said...

i just looked at streetview and it looks like there are several places with just small sized rocks and no wall, a car could very easily go over those rocks and off the brow. However, like sky said, you would think there would be torn up grass, knocked down bushes, or something to indicate a car had gone over. If this indeed is her car, it is very disturbing to think that with all the searches that happened, both law enforcement and private citizens, that the jeep was just off the w road the whole time - right in the Palmgren's back yard.

December 1, 2011 at 2:45 p.m.
meganrael said...

Funny how we can get so much from Google these days. Even if there were signs of a car going off the road, there more than likely isn't any there now, 7 months later. Also, there is no evidence given to the public so far that her car being found off the side of the road was anything other than an accident. It is WAY too early for any type of theories about how she got off the road. CSI Syndrome at its best.

December 1, 2011 at 2:54 p.m.
skyboxer said...

I'm sure the Mafia is involved somehow. There's no way that vehicle could have gone off the side there without a goon squad to move those rocks and then put them back in place. Think about it...

December 1, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.

Good point skyboxer. We have gangs, why not the mafia too?

December 1, 2011 at 4:07 p.m.
lcoffey1 said...

Come on guys people run off the side of roads all the time. Just in the last year they found a lady that was missing since 1950 from Polk County in the lake. Come to find out she had run off the road. The chances are she was upset she accidentally ran off the road. The other option is he killed her and ran it off the road. I am inclined to think it is option 1. The guy may have been having sex with other women and abusing company time as well as money. All that does not make him a murdered.

December 1, 2011 at 4:13 p.m.
jesse said...

it wasn't JUST off the road harvey,it was off a 150 ft.cliff onto a 60* down slope w/kudzu 6 ft.deep!

they said they found another car there w/it and it has prob.been there for YEARS!

that is some rugged terrain !

December 1, 2011 at 4:19 p.m.
meganrael said...

TypicalRedneck -- That's a funny comment considering I'm from DC, have a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, and am currently in my 2 year of law school. Also, I'm not even going to comment on the fact that your name has the word "typical" in it, so I'm assuming you are your own stereotype.

December 1, 2011 at 4:29 p.m.
Sandyvajayjay said...

Is this where every local buffoon comes to give their definitive version of what happened? This was certainly Obamas fault.

December 1, 2011 at 4:29 p.m.
jesse said...

they said they haven't found a body in the car and if they don't find it some where on the side of that mtn. THEN you know someone else put the car off the mtn. and then they will start lookin at somebody REAL close!

December 1, 2011 at 4:31 p.m.

Yes. I am your typical, uneducated, cousin loving southerner. Most of my cousins are great people. Did you come in here to hate on southerners? Probably not the best place for it.

December 1, 2011 at 4:51 p.m.
skyboxer said...

No body? I got news for ya. We got a murder investigation heating up. That car was rolled off the brow to hide it.

December 1, 2011 at 4:56 p.m.
dub said...

People read please. The title says: NO BODY but everyones comments talk about what if. Ignorance

December 1, 2011 at 4:57 p.m.
skyboxer said...

Who do you think is sweatin cold bullets right about now in the St. Ives subdivision? No need for law enforcement to try and "tickle the wire" now....

December 1, 2011 at 4:59 p.m.
BravesDave said...

It won't be long until you see Matthew on Investigation Discovery.

December 1, 2011 at 5:06 p.m.
MarshaA said...

Dub, they didn't know there was no body at first -- the comments you're reading are from before the police released that info.

I am so glad they found the Jeep, let's hope that the evidence is handled properly. No Gail in the Jeep sure points to foul play, in my opinion.

December 1, 2011 at 5:06 p.m.
jesse said...

HEY DUB! why do you think they have a COMMENTS section on this rag!

some of us get on here to have our say and others get on here to show their ass tellin everybody else how dumb they are!

hey marsha,after being airborne off 150 ft cliff there a good chance she was thrown out at impact,plus the kudzu is very heavy there so they may find the remains in the area!

December 1, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.

It seems none of you think that jeep rolled over on it's way down the cliff. It most likely did so quite violently. They will have to bring the dogs in if the hill isn't too steep and they don't find it with a visual search. If she is down there, I hope she died instantly. It would be awful to suffer down there with severe injuries.

December 1, 2011 at 5:08 p.m.
TranquilAbiding said...

So sad that this blog has become a venue for insensitive people to attack each other when this woman's family is suffering. What should be discussed is empathy and compassion for the family and friends of this woman. So much hatred!

December 1, 2011 at 5:09 p.m.

oops spoke too soon jesse, you got your post in before i posted mine. If her body isn't down there I still don't jump to the foul play conclusion. If she was leaving and didn't want to be found, who says she didn't push the car off there to cover her tracks? So much hatred!

December 1, 2011 at 5:22 p.m.
dl said...

With all the high tech equipment and all the searches conducted (seems like there was one every week for a while) how did it take this long to find the car? Seems like a helicopter and a good pair of binoculars could have done it 6 months ago. The area where it was found is tough to get to but come on - it is not that large of an area!

December 1, 2011 at 5:23 p.m.
Hmmm said...

someone maybe should look at the "best friend" after all she was supposedly spotted with a woman on signal mtn

December 1, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.
MarshaA said...

I'm saying it looks like foul play because of the body, but also because it seems unlikely that the Jeep hit a rock and plunged off a cliff in the middle of a weekend afternoon without anyone noticing. Even if no one heard or saw, surely skid marks plus the missing rock would alert someone to a problem. Surely pieces of the Jeep were left behind once it hit that rock.

Best case scenario here is that she had an accident and no one in that area who saw the missing rock, tire skid marks, or pieces of a vehicle on the side of the road said anything about it even though Gail's story was in the local news for weeks and weeks. That's a pretty awful best case scenario.

December 1, 2011 at 6:03 p.m.
jesse said...

flying purple,you may be right BUT gitting an auto off a cliff can be REAL tricky!

but if it was me and i was gonna do myself in it would not be by this method!to many ways it can go wrong PLUS you got too much time to think on the way down!!in the summer when the leaves are on the trees you could not even see the ground from the air!(binoculars my ass!!)

hey di,when they got started they had no idea where the car was at,THATS why they had to HUNT FOR IT!!

December 1, 2011 at 6:09 p.m.
morethanoneside said...

Hmmm... the "best" friend who she really wasnt friends with. The same friend that she supposedly borrowed money from, which she didnt need to borrow, they were well off. I think you are onto something!!!!

December 1, 2011 at 6:38 p.m.
hcdeparent said...

Was she one to always wear her seat belt? If you are in the habit to always buckle up she would have had your seat belt on and hopefully still be in the car. Hopefully tomorrow and in the days to come will give answers to a lot of questions. Still puzzling as to why she would leave her drivers license on the kitchen counter. Just speaking as a woman..... habits it all in the habits we have.

December 1, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.
bigguy said...

If windows are busted out, then I'd say she was ejected.

December 1, 2011 at 8:48 p.m.
lcoffey1 said...

I still say based on the information I have seen. She was upset ran off the mountain and was ejected or crawled out. If they find her body close by then it is highly likely that it was an accident. The only other options are (a)She was murdered and the car was run off the hill to try and make it look like an accident which almost never works out well for the murderer. (b) She was killed and disposed of elsewhere and the car was ran off the hill to hide it which would really be stupid. This is what I am willing to bet. No body the husband will be arrested almost immediately. A body they will examine the scene and the body with a microscope and turn every possible stone and if they deternmine she was dead before the car went off the road. The husband goes to jail. If they determine it was an unfortunate accident. The husband sues a bunch or media and other folks and does not have to worry about getting another job.

December 1, 2011 at 9:15 p.m.
dsclaiborne said...

According to the Times Free Press about 4 months ago they said Matthew Palmgren was fired along with a female co-worker with whom he was having an affair. They also interviewed one of her friends who said Gail had found credit card charges for hotels and stuff near their Alabama home and put two and two together and was planning to leave Matthew and take the kids. Then she mysteriously disappears.

December 1, 2011 at 10:49 p.m.
NoMyth said...

Is it possible to determine if someone was murdered after their body has been exposed to the elements for 7 months (including a hot summer)?

December 1, 2011 at 10:56 p.m.
westie79 said...

Such exciting baloney. If this, then that, or maybe, or perhaps she, or he did this, or that. Not much goin' on there if so many can get all worked up about this. The best thing you folks could do is get a good book & turn off your goddamn TV.

December 1, 2011 at 11:39 p.m.
Mommy44923 said...

I also have my theories, but that is all any of our comments are - theories. Regardless of what happened to Mrs. Palmgren, we need to keep in mind that she was a mother to two children. I know that one of them is in elementary school (not sure about the other). Can you imagine being a child and losing your mom at that age?!?! It would only make it a million times worse for those kids if the father were involved somehow... My prayers go out to those kids! Through all of this, they are expected to still act normal and go to school as if nothing has happened... So many of us are quick to judge, but there isn't an easy answer for this case. It could have been any one of us - whether accident or murder. My heart truly goes out to Mrs. Palmgren's family, her children especially!!!

December 2, 2011 at 1:02 a.m.

Why would anyone pay to go to class and be preached at about the progressive religion? Besides, those colleges are greedy as heck. Look at how much tuition goes up every year. They could care less about the children. They only care about profit.

December 2, 2011 at 9:45 a.m.
littleturtle said...

They just found human remains 100 yards away.

December 2, 2011 at 10:44 a.m.
dorothyc said...

I love "Investigative Discovery", and I'm like you BravesDave....we will be viewing this one in the very near future on ID. This is a real "who done it". No disrespect to the family, my prayers go out to them. I'm sure they'd like this case completed so they can have some closure and go on with their lives. God bless her children.

December 2, 2011 at 10:51 a.m.
ibshame said...

According to early reports it appears she was thrown from the car. If they don't know how to get the car or the body out then before this whole thing is botched they need to call in a specialized forensic team from the FBI or some other agency that might have more experience in this type of procedure. This is truly a sad day for her family but at the very least they now have some sort of closure and they can lay her to rest.

December 2, 2011 at 11:49 a.m.
BravesDave said...

God comfort her family and friends and may she soon rest in PEACE.

December 2, 2011 at 6:38 p.m.
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