Police search Palmgren house

Police search Palmgren house

June 24th, 2011 by Beth Burger in News

Hamilton County criminal investigators search inside of Matthew and Gail Palmgren's home in Signal Mountain, Tenn., in this file photo. Gail has been missing since April 30.

Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

HOW TO HELP

Gail Palmgren was last seen driving a red 2010 Rubicon Jeep with a tailgate tire cover that reads "Life is Good" and with a daisy painted on it. She also had a personalized Alabama tag-"EAZY ST." The couple owns a home near Titus, Ala., on Lake Jordan.

She is 5 feet 8, weighs 135 pounds and has blonde hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information may call investigators at 423-209-8940 or 423-622-0022.


CONSENT ORDER

The consent order to search the Palmgrens' Signal Mountain home included these parameters:

• Mike Mathis, a former Chattanooga Police Department investigator, who has been hired by Palmgren, must be present during the searches.

• Any documents that investigators wish to copy must be copied through Palmgren and his attorneys.

• Testing of trace evidence is allowed as long as it does not damage the property.

• Detectives must get permission to further test items from the house from Palmgren's attorney and the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office.

• If investigators damage the property, the sheriff's office must replace the property.

Source: Consent Order


SEARCH LOCATIONS

The consent order lists five locations for the search:

• The Palmgren family residence at 40 Ridgerock Drive, Signal Mountain

• 439 Easy St., Wetumpka, Ala.

• 481 Jordan Lake Road, Titus Ala.

• A public storage unit in Red Bank

• Matt Palmgren's mother's residence in Chattanooga

Source: Consent Order

Detectives began to search the home of a missing 44-year-old Signal Mountain woman Thursday night after her husband recently granted them permission to search the couple's properties.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Signal Mountain Police Department investigators entered the residence at 40 Ridgerock Drive in hopes of finding clues of where Gail Palmgren may be.

Palmgren, 44, was last seen April 30. No one has heard from her since.

Janice Atkinson, public information officer for the sheriff's office, said investigators conducted the search at night so they could use an alternative light source to check for body fluids, such as blood, throughout the residence.

"It will pick up things that can't be seen with the naked eye," she said.

Authorities also photographed areas throughout the home, and it's unclear what other evidence they found. They also searched the grounds leading into the woods near the home.

Gail Palmgren's husband, Matthew Palmgren, worked with his defense attorneys, Lee Davis and Bryan Hoss, to draft a consent order that would allow detectives to search the home and other properties including a home at Lake Jordan in Alabama. The agreement states Palmgren's private investigator must be present.

Investigators were not able to obtain search warrants for the properties early on in the investigation because there is no proof that any crime occurred.

Neighbors on Ridgerock Drive said they were thankful the search is finally taking place even if it comes 54 days after Gail Palmgren went missing.

"I don't know why they didn't do it sooner," one man said, who declined to be named.

Neighbors said Palmgren has not allowed the couple's two children to be allowed outside the home much.

"Some of the neighbors think there was foul play," the man said. "They can't see her leaving her two kids."

Police responded to arguments between the Palmgrens twice a couple of weeks leading up to Gail Palmgren's disappearance. Matthew Palmgren filed motions in Hamilton County Chancery Court a week after she was gone asking for a legal separation, exclusive use of the couple's home and custody of the children. He later withdrew the motions June 1.

Palmgren alleged his wife was mentally unstable leading up to her disappearance. Friends and other family members have said other wise.

Palmgren, and another co-worker, were recently fired from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee after the investigation became a distraction at work.