Chattanooga: Missing woman's siblings file restraining order against husband

Chattanooga: Missing woman's siblings file restraining order against husband

June 28th, 2011 by Todd South 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.

Gail Palmgren. Contributed Photo

Gail Palmgren. Contributed Photo


Gail Palmgren was last seen driving a crimson-red Rubicon Jeep with a back tire cover that says "Life is Good" in the shape of a daisy and a personalized Alabama tag reading, "EAZY ST." She is 5 feet 8, weighs 135 pounds and has blond hair and brown eyes. Anyone with any information can contact Signal Mountain Police Department at 423-886-2124.

The brother and sister of a missing Signal Mountain woman have asked a local court to prevent her husband from moving their two children out of state.

The restraining order filed by Kevin Nowacki and Diane Nowacki Nichols, siblings of the missing Gail Palmgren, 44, also asks the court to appoint a legal guardian for the children.

The order was filed Friday against Matthew Palmgren in Hamilton County Chancery Court. Chancellor Frank Brown III is scheduled to hear from the attorneys on July 11.

Gail Nowacki Palmgren was last seen April 30.

The order asks the court to restrict Matthew Palmgren from moving the children out of Tennessee and no farther than 100 miles from their Signal Mountain home.

The filing also asks that Matthew Palmgren set up counseling for the couple's 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter and not make "disparaging remarks about Mrs. Palmgren to or in the presence of" the children.

Nowacki, a Lake Worth, Fla., resident and Nichols, a Tonawanda, N.Y., resident, also ask the judge to appoint a legal guardian for the children other than their father and allow visitation with Gail Palmgren's family.

"[We] believe it is in the children's best interest to have visitation with their mother's family pending her return," according to documents.

The documents also state that Palmgren had shut off power to a lake home in Elmore County, Ala., and asked the court to keep him from damaging or selling any property that the couple share or that Gail Palmgren owns independently.

Hamilton County sheriff's deputies searched the couple's 40 Ridgerock Drive home Thursday for clues related to her disappearance. Matthew Palmgren consented to the search with the help of his attorneys, Lee Davis and Bryan Hoss.

Efforts to reach Davis and Hoss were unsuccessful Monday.

Shortly after his wife was last seen, Matthew Palmgren filed for legal separation in Chancery Court, custody of the children and exclusive use of the couple's home shortly after she was last seen. He withdrew those requests on June 1.

Matthew Palmgren and another co-worker recently were fired from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee after the investigation became a work distraction, according to Times Free Press archives.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree or 423-757-6347.