published Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Divers check river for missing Signal Mountain woman's Jeep

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ed Merritt, left, and Deputy John Scruggs prepare to dive Tuesday to search for a missing Signal Mountain woman’s vehicle near the Suck Creek boat ramp.
Staff Photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ed Merritt, left, and Deputy John Scruggs prepare to dive Tuesday to search for a missing Signal Mountain woman’s vehicle near the Suck Creek boat ramp. Staff Photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press

HOW TO HELP

Gail Palmgren was last seen driving a crimson-red Jeep Rubicon with a black tire cover that says “Life is Good” in the shape of a daisy and a personalized tag reading, “EAZY ST.” She is 5 feet 8, weighs 135 pounds and has blond hair and brown eyes.

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

There was a 30- to 40-year-old car resting on the muddy river bottom. The bed of an extremely old pickup was spotted.

But there were no signs of a missing Signal Mountain woman’s crimson-red 2010 Rubicon Jeep under the surface of the Tennessee River near the Suck Creek boat ramp.

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office dive and marine units searched the area Tuesday morning, using sonar equipment and divers to cover the quarter-mile area near the boat ramp which has historically been a watery grave for stolen vehicles.

Investigators went to the site in hopes of finding the vehicle of 44-year-old Gail Palmgren, who was last seen April 30 when she dropped her two children off at her home.

Despite family members and friends blanketing the area with fliers of Palmgren’s description, no one has heard from or seen her.

“We didn’t see anything we could dive for,” said Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy John Scruggs after spending about two hours using sonar equipment to look for signs of the Jeep.

The equipment allows authorities to see the length, height and overall image of the vehicle with enough detail to see tires on a car, he said.

Despite no signs of Palmgren’s Jeep, divers entered the water.

“We want to be very, very thorough,” he said. “We can see a better image as we go.”

The area was searched to eliminate the location as a possible site for Palmgren’s vehicle. No specific evidence led authorities to the spot, according to investigators.

There are plans also to dive and search areas of Lake Jordan, Ala., where Palmgren and her husband own a lake house.

Signal Mountain police were called twice to domestic arguments at the couple’s home in the weeks before Palmgren went missing.

Matthew Palmgren, Palmgren’s husband, has since filed motions in Hamilton County Chancery Court seeking a legal separation of the couple, exclusive use of the house and custody of their children.

A ruling is expected June 3.

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thinkaboutitt said...

The river would be too obvious. Lakes within a several mile radius should be considered, and not necessarily near, or even in the direction of, their lake house. Mr. Palmgren is a very intelligent man. While he may not have made any mistakes in the execution of his crime, his actions following it certainly scream "guilty."

May 25, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.
karencaline said...

Ummmm, what crime? This woman drove off willingly by herself and took out tons of cash to hide herself. Even her best friend said she watched her drive off. How did he "execute" that one? Its not like he claimed she went off jogging and never came home, she willingly dropped her children off and left on her own. Just be thankful she didn't take those kids and harm them!

May 25, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.
bringgailhome said...

Strongkarencaline you need to get off this web comments especially since you dont know anything about Gail. She was a wonderful wife and mother. I have known Matt for a while now also Matt has always came off to me as a strange individual. I believe a 100% in my mind he killed her or paid someone else to kill her! You need to keep your comments to yourself for the sake of the family and friends, me included, that will read what you write because you have no idea of all the other details that have not been released onto the web! Thank you!

May 26, 2011 at 5:20 p.m.
thinkaboutitt said...

His behavior, including his comments to the media are inconsistent with a voluntary disappearance. If he had nothing to hide, he would have taken a polygraph, welcomed her family into his home, and allowed the children to be gently questioned by authorities. In fact, he would be begging her to return home to her family, if only to clear his name. He will forever live in the shadow of what he has done and will never again live a private, "normal" life.

May 27, 2011 at 1:15 p.m.
Momus said...

28 days later and they are now searching the lake for her body? I guess these diver and Police have been busy searching for the 4 black and 2 hispanic women that have gone missing in the last 30 days that did not make it in the paper.

May 27, 2011 at 2:23 p.m.
knowledge said...

Figures somebody would try to play the race card. Maybe the other people that went missing didn't have people that care about them as much as this women does... That also plays a big role in getting the media involved.

May 27, 2011 at 7:04 p.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

Knowledge wrote- "Maybe the other people that went missing didn't have people that care about them as much as this women does..."

Translation- minorities don't care about their family members as much as whites. Nice.

May 28, 2011 at noon
knowledge said...

I am a minority...

May 30, 2011 at 3:38 p.m.
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