published Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Palmgren consents to property searches

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

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01centare said...

I'm with you, wildman. I something untoward has happened to the mrs, there's been more than ample time to take care of 'things'. Can one imagine the police waiting to accept 'term' from a spouse of some working class or poor neighborhood? They'd have stormed the home in riot gear from the beginning, thrown the spouse to the floor, terrorized the children, and shot the family pet.

Has the police checked bank and credit card records for any ongoing activity or transaction? That usually gives a clue to whether someone is alive or dead. Were there large sum bank transactions prior to the mrs disappearance? That could be a clue that either she was making plans to leave or someone was making plans to give the appearance she was leaving on her own.

June 18, 2011 at 8:09 a.m.
rosebud said...

I have a feeling if this was Alton Park instead of Signal Mountain, the police would have searched the property on Day 1, and there would not have been any "accepting the terms of the husband." Incredible. "Equal justice for all." Really? Money talks, know the rest.

June 18, 2011 at 8:10 a.m.
Salsa said...

You guys must be crime experts. I bet you've seen every episode of CSI.

June 18, 2011 at 9:28 a.m.
Dreamcatcher said...

A month and a half later....Great Idea! Maybe there's some clues that might help bring this poor lady home! And while their at it maybe they should do a little checking on this 31 year old Helton that helped wreck a marrage with young children and obviously is after OLDER men. She sounds like a SNEAKY SNAKE with an agenda! A very dangerous women!!! I sure hope they finally start stepping on both of these two snakes until one of them starts squeaking!!

June 18, 2011 at 11:09 a.m.
whatevery said...

I heard that age 31 is a typo - that she is 41. 31 is a little young to have already had a 16 yo child and a very successful career.

June 18, 2011 at 11:27 a.m.
HannaBeckman said...

Oh shut up*Salsa*with your CSI rants!!!At least we are not being led blind into thinking that this woman is a victim of foul play . You can bet the police are considering the possibility that this idiot ran away on her own accord and is a wack job!!! Just like the Polk County couple who said this week that a KKK noted brick was tossed through the kitchen window at midnight.You can also bet the local police,etc think this is an inside job too!So post an honest rant once in a while, or just blow away little man!!

June 18, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.
thinkaboutitt said...

Too little and way too late. Any evidence at Matt & Gail's properties is long gone. That he hired a defense attorney early on indicates someone in fear of being caught. I hope law enforcement has questioned Matt and his mistress. What concerns me the most is that a woman can vanish without a trace. It could happen to any of us. We need answers, please!

June 18, 2011 at 2:54 p.m.

This missing person case has been VERY poorly handled (by the law) since the very beginning. Not sure we will ever know what happened. BCBS did, in fact, make the right move by letting Palmgren's only now that his escapade with Helton surfaces? Way too many unanswered questions...and Gail is still missing. Surely she didn't evaporate into thin air.

June 18, 2011 at 10:05 p.m.
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