Palmgren consents to property searches

Palmgren consents to property searches

June 18th, 2011 by Beth Burger in News

Matthew Palmgren speaks at a brief news conference concerning his missing wife, Gail, at the Signal Mountain Recreation Department in Signal Mountain.

Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

The husband of a missing Signal Mountain woman has reached an agreement with authorities allowing them to search his home, lake house and other properties in hopes of finding his wife.

Matthew Palmgren is opening up his storage facility, mother's home, house in Montgomery, lake house in Titus, Ala., and Signal Mountain home for investigators.

Gail Palmgren, 44, was last seen April 30. In the weeks before she disappeared, the couple had arguments serious enough that police responded, according to police reports.

The consent order was drafted by Palmgren's defense attorneys, Lee Davis and Bryan Hoss.

Hoss said Friday that Palmgren offered to allow the search shortly after his wife last was seen.

"We reached out to them early, early on in the case," Hoss said, noting that police did not immediately accept the offer.

The agreement is being coordinated through the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office.

Palmgren and his co-worker at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Tammy Helton, were both recently let go after the search for his wife caused work place distractions, company officials said.

BlueCross cited misuse of company equipment and inappropriate email use for letting the employees go, sources said.

Palmgren, 40, was director of pharmacy programs for BlueCross' government business and emerging markets business unit. Helton worked as manager of government product development.

Helton, 31, separated earlier this year from her husband, Terry Helton, 46, and filed for divorce last month, court records show. The case will go before a judge on June 26, according to court records.

The couple, who shared a home and chicken farm in Ider, Ala., have a 16-year-old daughter.

In a court deposition, Tammy Helton cited an "irretrievable breakdown" in the marriage and said attempts to reconcile were futile.

"We no longer enjoy each other's company and each want to move on with our lives. We do not have the same wants and desires for our future, and have different goals for our lives."

David Barrow, Helton's defense attorney, declined to comment Friday.

Helton has left the Chattanooga area and moved to Mississippi, sources say.