published Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Missing woman’s husband seeks custody of children

A Chancery Court judge will rule in a case Friday where the husband of a missing woman is seeking temporary custody of their two children and exclusive use of their Signal Mountain home, according to court documents.

In the meantime, friends and relatives of 44-year-old Gail Nowacki Palmgren continue to plaster the area with missing-person fliers in hopes of learning her whereabouts.

Her husband, Matthew Palmgren, 40, filed the paperwork May 6 in court. He reported his wife missing to police on May 2 after he was urged by her family, according to Signal Mountain Police Department reports.

No one has heard from or seen Gail Palmgren since April 30.

Matthew Palmgren told police his wife left their children, ages 9 and 12, alone at their home at 40 Ridge-rock Drive on that date. Her Jeep also is missing.

Police had been called to their home April 29 and a week earlier, on April 22, in response to their arguments, reports show.

On April 29, police gave Gail Palmgren the phone number of a safe place to stay, and she then took the children to Alabama to stay at a lake house for the night.

Matthew Palmgren stated he would stay at the couple’s Signal Mountain residence, according to police reports.

Arlene Durham, a family friend who lives at Lake Jordan in Titus, Ala., said she saw Gail Palmgren and the children the night of April 29.

“She was very upset and very worried. You could tell something was the matter,” she said. “She wouldn’t talk because the kids were here.”

The April 22 call came after an argument in the car. Gail Palmgren told police her husband wanted to take a boat down to the lake house and she wanted them to go to Alabama as a family.

Matthew Palmgren told police he needed the Jeep to haul the boat and his wife got mad and decided to hide the key. So he got out and began walking home, according to the report.

Asked about the boat, Durham replied, “That’s full of crap.”

“That boat’s already down here. That boat hasn’t left the lake in three years that I know of,” she said.

Durham, who spoke to Gail Palmgren almost daily, said Matthew Palmgren emotionally abused his wife. She suspected physical abuse also took place.

On the weekend of April 10, her friend had a black eye.

She said, “Oh, I ran into something,” Durham remembers.

A police report also documents an argument Nov. 17.

The report said they argued over a missing dog and after she got a vehicle stuck on the side of the road. She took the children and stayed at another home, according to the police report.

Instability argued

In court documents, Matthew Palmgren paints a picture of an unstable woman. Palmgren and his wife both hold doctorates in pharmacy.

He stated his wife was suffering from severe mental illness after she lost her job at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in June 2010.

He said she was prescribed numerous antidepressants, according to court records.

Durham disagreed.

“I don’t think she was depressed. She was too outgoing. She loved life. She loved the outdoors and being with her kids,” she said.

Mathew Palmgren alleges his wife became paranoid recently and would write down license plate numbers to try to identify drivers because she believed people were following her, according to court records.

She also accused her husband of breaking into her car because she found a used Band-Aid and the radio station was changed, the court records state.

Palmgren said he received a mail change of address form dated April 30 for his wife and mail from a bank account stating that personal identification numbers were changed for three accounts containing about $420,000.

He did not respond to interview requests Wednesday.

Gail Palmgren was last seen driving a red Jeep with a Life is Good daisy tire cover and personalized Alabama tag reading, “EAZY ST”. She is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 135 pounds and has blonde hair and brown eyes.

“She’s a wonderful mother,” said Susie Button, who lives across the street from the Palmgren family and has missing person fliers taped to the back of her minivan. “Something must have scared her. She wouldn’t just up and leave. We just hope somebody will call.”

Anyone with any information can contact Signal Mountain Police Department at 423-886-2124.

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hcirehttae said...

Gail Palmgren was last seen driving a red Jeep with a Life is Good daisy tire cover and personalized Alabama tag reading, “EAZY ST”.

"Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me." - F.S. Fitzgerald

May 12, 2011 at 7:32 a.m.
Leaf said...

That's not very rich. That's just upper middle class.

Very rich is private jets and multiple estates with servants. The very rich don't hold down jobs as pharmacists.

May 12, 2011 at 11:57 a.m.
karencaline said...

She is the one who drove away and left her kids, and accounts were changed. She was making plans to leave. Just lucky she didn't take the kids or harm them. Could have been a scenario like the one in florida where the mom killed both her kids...

May 12, 2011 at 12:23 p.m.
Legend said...

@karencaline said... She is the one who drove away and left her kids, and accounts were changed. She was making plans to leave


If you've ever worked in a crisis shelter for abused spouse you'd know that's what they're advised to do. Another thing is, depending on the level of abuse taking place, the abused are advised to have no contact with the allegedly abusive spouse, because they might be able to race the individual attempting to escape such a relationship.

Otherwise, as someone implied, what proof is there other than the husband's word that this woman ever left of her own free will? Maybe someone should check out that vacation home in Alabama and any lakes nearby?

May 12, 2011 at 1:40 p.m.
karencaline said...

@legend why is the man always the one, she is missing and she didn't even tell her siblings, yes I have worked in crisis shelters and they don't let it get this far, there is always a family member in contact, Besides, if you are an abused woman you go into hiding? How about seeking therapy and contacting a lawyer. She has a doctorate in pharmacy. This is no weak willed woman, this a strong independent woman who had her own job, her own money and clearly her family loves her or they wouldn't be out distributing fliers everywhere. There are three sides to every story, hers, his and the truth, just because he isn't talking means nothing...I am all about prevention and if she has ideas of stealing these kids, more power to him for preventing her from doing it. How about come out, go straight to the news and tell the whole world the truth, stop making everyone sick with worry.

May 12, 2011 at 2:15 p.m.
ATRUEFRIEND said...

I was set this comment for someone on Twitter I think it hits the nail on the head. "I don't think that Matthew Palmgren, who is the director of pharmacy programs for BlueCross BlueShield, (I'm sure his bosses aren't very happy with him right now) ever thought that the documents would make the news, but right now I think he looks as though he's got egg all over his face. Sure, he is probably very mad at his wife, and she may be showing erratic behavior, but instead of getting her help, or searching for her, he decides his time is better spent filing paperwork behind her back.

Hey Matthew, don't you think you could have waited a bit? You just look like a scared little mad monkey, that is making sure you "get" your wife before she "gets" you in court. Maybe you should find out where your wife is, before you rush to the courts to file paperwork against her.

Oh, by the way, the cops were called to the home twice before Gail disappeared and they gave Gail information on help for domestic abuse. Hmmmm. You can read more at the link below. Gail Palmgren: Missing, husband files for custody of kids - National missing persons | Examiner.com"

May 12, 2011 at 11:03 p.m.
Momus said...

How many poor, black or Hispanic women have gone missing since April 30?

May 13, 2011 at 7:41 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Something about a velour mallet? Sounds kinky.

May 13, 2011 at 10:04 a.m.
hickory10 said...

I believe HannaBeckman is either the husband or someone close to him but regardless his behavior is odd and I think he has done something to her....His story don't add up and what he is telling the public sounds stupid. Any person that goes missing and have a family they are going to report the sameday he was made to report her....They will get him!!!

May 13, 2011 at 4 p.m.
bluefairy said...

Now, if she was planning on "snatching" the kids, why would she have bothered to return home? Why not take them and leave? Also, how long were they actually alone, if they were...when did Mr Palmgren arrive? 4-5 minutes after she left? 10 minutes? Are children latch key kids if left for under an hour in their own home and one is 12? Just curious. I am having a hard time figuring out where she was being treated for mental illness when her family and the police say no. I mean, if she was being treated I am sure her husband would have told the police so that they would have a better understanding. Right?

May 13, 2011 at 5:33 p.m.
VolsMomOf4 said...

ATRUEFRIEND - how in the world would you know what information the police have? From all the reports, sounds like they've been pretty tight lipped about everything.

May 13, 2011 at 10:37 p.m.
chet123 said...

VOLSMOMOF4....why you so determined to make him the victim.....dont understand you babe! what going on here?

May 14, 2011 at 10:17 a.m.
ATRUEFRIEND said...

Because I gave the police the information I had on file. Cause when you hold the poof on paper work it speaks for itself. And as far as the husband when you carrry on like nothing is wronge after almost 17 years of marriage then . Yes you should ? his deminer . When kids are involved and 2 younge childern at that and lie to them on where thier mom is and is not even tried to look for her even for the kids sake . Then yes I am and you should ? his actions . Ask others people you know married or divorced if they would look for the mom or dad despite thier problems for the kids. And see what they say .

May 15, 2011 at 8:07 a.m.
Legend said...

@karencaline said... @legend why is the man always the one, she is missing and she didn't even tell her siblings, yes I have worked in crisis shelters and they don't let it get this far, there is always a family member in contact


You forget, Theresa Parker wasn't in contact with her family either. The reason, as it turned out, she was in no position to contact her family after all. Her remains were discovered deep in a wooded area. Was it only about a year ago after she'd been reporting "missing" by her soon to be ex too? Who, it turns out, was a cop or former cop with the Walker County Police Dept. hmmmmmm!

@TrueFriend: You truly are a TRUE FRIEND! If not for your concerns I wonder if your friend would have been reported missing at all.

May 15, 2011 at 11:05 a.m.
ATRUEFRIEND said...

Probly not . If it was not for me or her family nothing probley would of been done. How can you carry on everyday like nothing is going on then hide when the truth started coming out.

May 15, 2011 at 11:34 a.m.
VolsMomOf4 said...

I heard the kids have been moved out of town and they aren't with their dad. Why is that? I do have to say that I can't imagine being away from them for a second while all this is going on. Is school already out for them? Just seems strange that they are not together. What could be that important and what can those kids be thinking?

May 15, 2011 at 4:21 p.m.
ATRUEFRIEND said...

Lets say that the kids go from one to the other. So that thier dad can do his own thing. I know that if my spouse went missing I would not carry on everyday like nothing is going on . Nor would I let my kids out of my site. And then leave them with other family memebers so I can do my thing. Nor leave them like its just another day . And I feel for the kids, my heart goes out to them. And they was only left for 10min before the dad came home, according to the neighbor. And school is still going on till the 24 of may.

May 16, 2011 at 7:28 a.m.
villalon said...

volsmomof4,Legend,You both don't know nothing.I was in a 14year marriage.And I was scared for 12years to leave him.Due to abuse.Until you have lived it you can't comment on it.And as far as the help of a safe house.Wake up! You are better off leaving the state and never call anyone.She was being right to make plans.And I'm thinking strong on her husband was in the wrong.And he knows where she is.

May 24, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.
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