Volunteers sign up to search for missing Signal woman

Volunteers sign up to search for missing Signal woman

May 22nd, 2011 by Carey O'Neil in News

Minister Greg Nance of Signal Mountain Church of Christ leads members of the Signal Mountain community in prayer during a support meeting for the missing Gail Palmgren Saturday at the Pruett Food Town parking lot in Signal Mountain, Tenn. The 33-year-old woman has been missing since April 30. Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press

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Friends of missing Signal Mountain woman Gail Palmgren hope to cross her home area off the list of places she could be.

About 40 volunteers turned out Saturday to show support for Palmgren and her family and sign up to search sections of the mountain today.

Volunteers would love to find Palmgren, who was last seen April 30, but they're focusing their efforts on tracking down her missing red Jeep Rubicon with Alabama plates reading "EAZY ST."

Several at the Signal Plaza Shopping Center parking lot worried that when Palmgren left home, she may have been distressed and gotten in an accident somewhere nearby.

To make sure that's not what happened, volunteers will bike, drive, hike and ride horses on the mountain's more than 60 miles of roads and trails, looking for any sign of the Jeep.

"The community has been unbelievable," Palmgren's brother-in-law Dan Nichols said. His wife, Diane, is Palmgren's sister.

They have been in the area for weeks, doing what they can to help with the search.

"My family's focus is just to find her," Diane Nichols said. "I just pray for her, that she's still alive."

The family isn't alone in their prayers. Before leaving for the day, volunteers, some who know Palmgren and some who don't, joined hands and prayed for her well being.

And though Palmgren's whereabouts remain a mystery, her children seem to be doing as well as can be expected, a friend said.

Nine-year-old Cathy Gray has been friends with Palmgren's children for about a year. She goes to school in the classroom next door to Palmgren's daughter.

"I think she's taking it really well," Cathy said, pausing from passing water to volunteers. "I feel really bad for her because I'd hate it if my mom went missing."