Remains believed to be those of Gail Palmgren found on side of Signal Mountain

Remains believed to be those of Gail Palmgren found on side of Signal Mountain

December 2nd, 2011 by Beth Burger in Local - Breaking News

An aerial photograph, distributed by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, shows the crimson Jeep Rubicon belonging to Gail Palmgren. The Jeep and the human remains believed to be those of Palmgren were discovered Thursday on Signal Mountain.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Document: Statement of Matthew Palmgren

Statement of Matthew Palmgren.

Gail Nowacki Palmgren

An aerial photograph, distributed by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, shows the crimson Jeep Rubicon belonging to Gail Palmgren. The Jeep and the human remains believed to be those of Palmgren were discovered Thursday on Signal Mountain.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

The remains believed to be those of a missing 44-year-old woman were found Thursday afternoon and recovery efforts are beginning now.

Officials said they are awaiting confirmation from the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's office as to the identity.

Investigators with Hamilton County Sheriff's Office withheld the information to notify Gail Palmgren's family members before releasing the news to the media.

Most of what are believed to be Palmgren's remains were recovered more than 100 yards from her Jeep, officials said. Her 2010 crimson Jeep Rubicon had gone over the edge of Signal Mountain on East Brow Road.

It appeared she was was not wearing her seatbelt at the time.

Palmgren was last seen by her children April 30 after she dropped them off at the family home on Ridgerock Drive, just over two miles away where she wrecked.

The Jeep overturned as it rolled down the mountain, causing extensive damage with the roof and front end badly wrecked, officials said. It came to a rest about 150 feet from the W Road after going over a couple of rock bluffs.

Authorities found the vehicle using rappelers and saw Palmgren's personalized Alabama tag reading "EAZY ST," a reference to the street address of her lake home in Wetumpka, Ala.

Investigators are in the process of going through the calls and text messages on Palmgren's cell phone, which was recovered near the wreckage, as well as checking the vehicle's computer system and GPS device.

Authorities are still brainstorming ways to remove the vehicle and her remains without damaging either.

Sheriff Jim Hammond said they may have to airlift the vehicle out.

Although the area was searched on foot on and around Signal Mountain in the months after Palmgren disappeared, the trees had to drop their leaves before an aerial search could be effective. Using a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter Thursday, authorities also used infrared technology to detect abnormalities in the landscape, which located the Jeep, Hammond said.

The W Road will be closed to traffic until further notice and residents who live on the road will be asked to show identification before being allowed to drive on it as authorities continue to process evidence.

Palmgren was on the verge of ending her 14-year-marriage to her husband, Matthew, when she disappeared, family and friends have said.

Signal Mountain police were called to the home on April 22 and April 29 in response to the couple's arguments. Gail Palmgren also gave money and documents to neighbors and relatives to hold for safekeeping before she went missing, according to court documents.

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