published Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Sightings of missing Signal Mountain woman unconfirmed

  • photo
    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.

A news conference did little to shed light on the case of a missing Signal Mountain woman last seen April 30, but her estranged husband said “we’ve done everything in our power” to find her.

“We’ve hired a private investigator,” said Matthew Palmgren. “We continue to look. We’re turning over everything we can,” he said at Tuesday’s news conference in Signal Mountain, where the couple live.

Palmgren, 40, reported 44-year-old Gail Palmgren missing on May 2, according to police records. On May 6, he filed for legal separation from her in Hamilton County Chancery Court and for temporary custody of their 12-year-old son, Jared, and 9-year-old daughter, Lori.

Palmgren’s attorney, Bryan Hoss, filed a motion Tuesday to continue the order because Gail has not been located and is considered a missing person by authorities. A chancellor is scheduled to rule on the order on June 3.

It’s been more than two weeks since Gail Palmgren dropped off the two children in a 2010 red Jeep Rubicon at the couple’s residence at 40 Ridgerock Drive and left. She has not been seen since, but with extensive media coverage of her case, there have been possible sightings reported to law enforcement, authorities said. None of the sightings has been confirmed, authorities said.

Janice Atkinson, public information officer for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, which is assisting in the investigation, declined to release details about the case. When asked if investigators suspected foul play, she replied, “That’s always a possibility and will be looked into by law enforcement.”

Matthew Palmgren expressed concern about his wife’s mental state, saying she accessed their financial assets and that the children’s passports are missing, according to court documents.

Recently, Palmgren, who is a director of pharmacy programs for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s government business and emerging markets business unit, was placed on administrative leave with pay. He was not given an explanation, Hoss said.

Palmgren said he has hired private investigator Matthew Mathis, who formerly worked as the head of major crimes and in internal affairs at the Chattanooga Police Department, to help locate his estranged wife.

“Dr. Palmgren has been very active. We’re in constant communication with Signal Mountain Police Department. We’ve uncovered certain things and shared them with law enforcement,” Hoss said.

In the days leading up to Gail Palmgren’s disappearance, Signal Mountain police were called to the couple’s home to address loud arguments, according to police reports.

Gail Palmgren has been placed in the national missing person’s registry, Atkinson said, giving law enforcement agencies nationwide access to her information.

However, there have been no mass searches for Gail Palmgren by local law enforcement. In frustration, Diane Nichols, the missing woman’s sister who left her home in New York to find her, pleaded for the public’s help at the news conference.

“I’m only one person and this is quite a large area to cover. If anyone has seen her vehicle, please call police,” she said.

Atkinson said there are plans for a search “later on this week.”

Nichols made a tearful plea to the public.

“Please, she’s got two little kids at home that miss their mommy,” said Nichols through tears. “Please, I’m begging you. Please help us find my sister.”

She also appealed to her sister directly.

“Gail, if you’re out there and you are able to hear this., please, call the police. Call me. There are people that are concerned about you — that love you and miss you. Please contact somebody. We love you. Please come home.”

Palmgren also had a direct message to his wife.

“Gail, if you hear us, please come forward. Jared and Lori love you,” he said, his voice cracking as he said the children’s names.

“Please, please show yourself soon,” he said.

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dude_abides said...

Sightings of news editor likewise uncomfirmeded, unconfrimmed, unicornfilmed, uncunfermed... cain't be verified.

May 18, 2011 at 7:22 a.m.
averys said...

Matthew is a DOCTOR? Whoa, that is the first time I am hearing that. I thought he just worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Oh, and Bryan Hoss, no one explained to Matthew why he was being put on administrative leave? According to the news he was put on administrative leave "in connection to his wife's disappearance."

May 18, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.
averys said...

I see that the family is conducting their own search on Signal Mountain this weekend since police cannot be bothered to look. The family are begging community members to come out and help them search. I predict a small turnout just like we saw earlier this week when the family begged community members to come help them pass out flyers and hardly anyone showed up, because they are all so selfish and just want this to go away! The world is watching while you continue to be more concerned with Lauren Alaina and American Idol to give a darn that a woman is missing.

May 18, 2011 at 12:04 p.m.

Matthew Palmgren is a D. Pharm, a doctorate of pharmacy, which is the same as a Phd. Not often called a Dr. but his defense lawyer chose to do so, here.

The Police know more than you or I. Maybe they are choosing another strategy than the one chosen by the family.

May 18, 2011 at 1:28 p.m.
averys said...

Does anyone know who "Dr." Matthew Palmgren's girlfriend is?

May 18, 2011 at 2 p.m.


You seem to care about facts in your previous posts and then you throw out this "Does anyone know who "Dr." Matthew Palmgren's girlfriend is?"

That comment not only made you seem petty with your "Dr." emphasis, but it made you look like you hold a grudge against Matthew. I believe Pharmacy doctorate degrees take far more time to earn than a regular medical doctorate.

I do agree with you on the public's facination with Lauren Alaina. Our returning soldiers don't get half the welcome she got from the community. Our priorities are in the wrong place completely.

May 18, 2011 at 2:37 p.m.
chet123 said...

thats right make Matthew Palmgren the victim...classy "Velvet Hammer"

May 18, 2011 at 2:44 p.m.
averys said...

Now why on earth would I have a grudge against a man who reportedly would get drunk, abuse Gail, and waited 2 days report his wife missing? And even then, he only reported her missing because her family forced him too. If Gail didn't have a family, Matthew wouldn't have reported her missing. Let's be real. Why would ANYONE have a grudge against a man like that? Baffling isn't it?

May 18, 2011 at 3:13 p.m.

@chet123 As far as I know the only victims so far are the children. Do you know facts none of the rest of us are aware of? You should share those facts with the police. This is still a missing persons case according to them.
If you don't know anything beyond what is being reported, assuming someone is guilty before convicted is another reason this country is becoming so "depraved" as you said in a comment in the story on the Brady buffoonery.

May 18, 2011 at 3:14 p.m.

@averys "a man who reportedly would get drunk"

Reported by whom? Is there a police report detailing this abuse and a conviction of battery? No? Then it seems it is just a rumor. It is also reported that Gail had mental issues and was on anti-depressants. Does that make it true?

Are you a fan of Office Space? You shouldn't over-use your jump to conclusions mat. Let some cold, hard facts come out before making your decisions. Put the mat away.

May 18, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
Momus said...

She's probably at some meth/crack- house and will come back as soon as she runs out of money.

May 19, 2011 at 5:36 a.m.
Wondering2011 said...

He girlfriend name is Tammy Helton. And Gail has a Pharmacy doctorate degrees also and scored higher then matt in school if it was not for Gail he probly would of never pass. He is a DRUNK and drives drunk with the kids in the car. And sneanks down to Al without his kids to talk to Tammy and walks around outside talking to her on the phone. He even talks to her everyday outside with the kids in the house. Dang how cold can he be oh I forgot like a snake he is . Why bother to try and help when he rather be on the phone with his girlfriend . Is that where you was today Matt at the DOUBLE TREE on chestnut in Chattanooga with your girlfriend.

May 20, 2011 at 1:54 a.m.
VolsMomOf4 said...

Rumor is there's a girlfriend in Alabama too. Busy man, huh?

May 22, 2011 at 1:43 a.m.
ildhfe said...

Unfortunately I am not surprised I know Matt and Tammy and they carried on at work and it was well known that they were having an affair she left her husband. Matt's behavior is not consistant with someone who is worried yet he is using the legal system to create an illusion that he is the victim getting a restraining order and filing for custody while his wife is missing. What a coward. The truth will come out. I am hoping this ends well and Gail is found alive and well, soon!

May 22, 2011 at 2:07 p.m.
VolsMomOf4 said...

Well, this will teach us to listen to idle gossip. My "friend" that fed me this tidbit told me she was just speculating about so much time being spent at the lake. Sorry all. Just hope they find this lady soon.

May 24, 2011 at 9:58 p.m.
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