published Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Missing woman's husband, Matthew Palmgren, lists home for sale

  • photo
    The husband of a missing Signal Mountain woman has listed the couple's home for sale.
    Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

40 Ridgerock Drive
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The husband of a missing Signal Mountain woman has listed the couple’s home for sale, according to a recent real estate listing.

Matthew Palmgren, who lost his job at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee after his wife, Gail Palmgren, went missing on April 30, has not filed any court papers that would enable him legally to sell the property, legal experts said.

The house, on Ridgerock Drive in St. Ives subdivision, is priced to sell at $669,000, or $95,000 below appraisal, according to the Realtor’s description. Matthew and Gail Palmgren purchased the home in 2009 for $550,000, records show.

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office investigators have not ruled her disappearance as foul play. A search at the couple’s lake home in Alabama — approved by Matthew Palmgren — is pending.

Jeanne Trewhitt, the listed agent for Prudential Realty, declined to comment. The ad states: “The seller will consider all offers.”

Lee Davis, an attorney who represents Matthew Palmgren, issued a statement when asked about the sale.

“Matthew Palmgren is doing what he can to hold his family together under the strain he has been under since Gail left their two children with him and drove away from their home in April,” the statement read. “He is making decisions that are in the best interests of his children and for their welfare. Mr. Palmgren hopes that he will be able to continue to live in the area and have his children continue in schools where they currently are enrolled. Details about the Palmgren family and their personal property are private matters and we will not be commenting publicly on them.”

Matthew Palmgren was making about $286,000 a year at BlueCross in 2009, records show.

The couple have two children, a 9-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son.

Legal experts say Matthew Palmgren cannot legally sell the couple’s home because a copy of the deed to the home shows that both are listed as owners.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press obtained copies of the couple’s will as well as power of attorney documents drafted in LaGrange, Ky., in 2006. The couple lived in Kentucky at the time.

  • 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.

The will says that, in the event of Gail Palmgren’s death, everything belongs to her husband.

The power of attorney states that, in the event something happened to Gail Palmgren’s mental state, her husband would be able to sell property. However, in order for the document to take effect, doctors must sign off, stating Gail Palmgren is incapacitated, records state.

Fletcher Long, a Clarksville, Tenn., criminal defense attorney who has dealt with similar cases in the past, said someone could buy the home, but if Gail Palmgren shows up, the buyer would lose the house and the money paid for it.

“You’re gambling,” Long said. “I can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. You are wagering the fact that I own it or have some interest in it.”

Long was a member of Perry March’s defense team nearly a decade ago in Nashville. March was convicted of slaying his wife, Janet Levine March, nearly 10 years after her disappearance. Her body was never found, and he was convicted on circumstantial evidence.

In Tennessee, a person can be declared legally dead if they are not heard from in seven years.

“We’re not even close to enough time [for that],” Long said. “He has to file a motion with the Probate Court to declare her dead. He could sell the property with a judicial determination she is dead.”

Another alternative is for Matthew Palmgren to file for divorce in Chancery Court or Civil Court. Gail Palmgren would be listed as a defendant in the case and, because she is missing, a legal notice would have to run in the newspaper for 30 days in an effort to notify her, said John Cavett, a local defense attorney.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were no filings in Chancery or Civil Court.

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MarshaA said...

He cannot legally sell the home, so just what is he planning here?

September 2, 2011 at 6:05 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

Who knows...what if she shows up and he and kids are gone? I still she hasn't contacted anyone because she can't.

September 2, 2011 at 8:40 a.m.
potcat said...

This one is sooo easy,Lee Davis, former lead Hamilton CO. Prosecutor for years is Running the investigation. Davis even had their home computer at his office.

Hamilton CO. Sheriff's office investigators have not ruled her disapearance as foul play!!!

Davis is wanting the house sold because he wants more MONEY for SAVING Matthews ASS. How much you want to bet Davis gets it done.

If you are in trouble and got the MONEY, Davis is your MAN, they are all in is pocket.

September 2, 2011 at 12:25 p.m.
NoMyth said...

That house will not sell for anything above 399k. Even if there was not a creepy disappearance, it would not sell for it's 2009 purchase price. Dumb.

September 2, 2011 at 12:33 p.m.
harrystatel said...

Blind Billy Cox, the DA, hasn't got time for this investigation. Blind Billy is too busy investigation government corruption in Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Either that or he's getting his cane re-tipped.

September 2, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.
Draax said...

This entire case has me leery...she's vanished as effectively as a buffet of doughnuts at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and nobody seems particularly interested in finding her...and I'm willing to bet that if you lean on the husband or Gail's relations hard enough one of those bunches knows where she is...

September 2, 2011 at 8:39 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

"For sale. One McMansion. Used freezer included. New garden. One shovel, slightly used. Free heavy bag and boxing gloves in garage. New carpet. Ideal residence for newly re-married middle-aged women. Priced under so you can flip it on HGTV."

Who is going to be able to get their wife to move in to a home marred by very public tales of a wife turning up disappeared? This is exactly the sort of situation that will immediately repel home buyers. Women will not want anything to do with this. There are probably several other unsellable McMansions on the local market not selling because of the recession. My guess is that most of those are scandal-free.

Surely, we are not actually expected to believe that they want to sell the house. Does anyone really believe that they would want to buy it today? Did we wake up this morning and say to ourselves, on our own, "Man, when is Left Hook Palmgren going to sell that big house?" We never did. No one would think of buying the place.

Until they suggested it.

What if the wife turns up in the crawlspace or buried in the backyard? The future homeowner would be immediately screwed.

Trying to sell off the home, though, does make Matthew Palmgren look like he wants to leave the area. And, he apparently wants to leave the house and land behind. I wonder what that does for his lawyer's arguments.

Maybe they're just fishing for public opinion. If people want to buy the home, then they must think there's nothing wrong over there. If no one wants to touch it, then they can infer that it takes some bravery for the public to trust Palmgren after this scandal. Perhaps they are just taking our temperature.

September 2, 2011 at 10:39 p.m.
sweetdream20 said...

This is a missing person. Yet he insults her mental state. Files restraining orders, separation papers, tried to gain full possession of the house, now tries to sell it. And even before she went missing we know he was blatantly cheating on her and secretly slipping money out of her account(s). He had no problem skipping work to enjoy playtime. He's a sleazeball through and through. I bet he continues to drop insults about her every chance he gets. She's missing. Gosh knows what horrible thing happened to her and he continues to dump on her. Grinding into her reputation with the heel of his shoe. He has been completely disrespectful to her while she is not even able to defend herself. It is past time to put a stop to him and his audacity.

September 2, 2011 at 10:57 p.m.
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