Helicopters won't be used to take Palmgren's Jeep off mountain, sheriff says

Helicopters won't be used to take Palmgren's Jeep off mountain, sheriff says

December 3rd, 2011 by Beth Burger in Local - Breaking News

Recovery personnel bring the first evidence bag from the Gail Palmgren crash site down from the side of Signal Mountain Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

Forensics technicians have removed what are believed to be the remains of Gail Palmgren from the Signal Mountain crash site, and authorities are in talks with wrecker services about hauling down her crushed Jeep Rubicon.

Military helicopters will not be used to remove the Jeep, Sheriff Jim Hammond said today.

Instead, authorities must use ropes and pulleys to get the vehicle down the side of the mountain, he said. That work will probably start on Sunday, he said.

But rain expected to start late Sunday could hamper the efforts. Showers are forecast to begin Sunday evening and continue until Wednesday.

Authorities had been talking with U.S. Army officials about using Army helicopters to airlift the vehicle, but that's not going to happen, Hammond said.

Palmgren disappeared April 30 after dropping her two children off at the family's Signal Mountain home.

Authorities said the remains will be taken back to the University of Tennessee's Anthropological Research Facility, commonly known as the Body Farm, for further examination.

Using dental records and DNA testing, they'll be able to determine whether the remains are Palmgren, although Hammond has said he's "98 percent" sure it's her.

Hammond said he expected to get a final ID sometime around the middle of next week.

Story developing, check back for more.