HAVERSTRAW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New details emerged Wednesday as police continued their search Wednesday for a man suspected of gunning down his daughter-in-law in Rockland County.
Chilling words foreshadowed the murder of 39-year-old Tammy Palmer, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported. The mother of two was found shot in the chest in the backyard of her Willow Grove Road home on Monday.
Palmer’s family said 74-year-old Eugene Palmer, the prime suspect in the case, showed her a gun last Friday.
WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports
The victim’s 16-year-old daughter, Rosemarie Palmer, told a newspaper that her grandfather said, “I am going to take your mother down, mark my words.”
A military helicopter equipped with thermal imaging cameras joined the manhunt for Eugene Palmer on Wednesday, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported. The search was suspended Wednesday night and will resume once again at sunrise.
At a roadblock in nearby Stony Point, residents were getting skittish.
“It’s pretty scary, especially with the kids around. It’s terrifying knowing there’s a crazy lunatic out there,” resident Stephanie Risco told CBS 2’s Young.
On Monday, Eugene Palmer apparently stopped by his sister’s house and admitted to the murder. He then drove half a mile, abandoned his pickup truck on a dirt trail and disappeared into Harriman State Park, Adams reported.
Haverstraw Police Chief Charles Miller said bloodhounds were back on the trails searching for the retired park ranger.
“You know, wherever it takes us. If we get a lead from the outside, we’ll send a crew to wherever we have to,” Chief Miller said. “We’re just going to cordon off certain areas of the park and we’re gonna go on foot.”
The terrain in the park is very rocky and hilly. Searchers said they found a recent campsite, but Eugene Palmer, described as an elderly diabetic, is proving to be very elusive prey.
“The ashes weren’t hot, so it wasn’t like we spooked him. So he might have spent the night, the night before there. I think he’s in the woods and moving around a little bit, yeah,” Chief Miller said, adding when asked if he thought maybe the suspect killed himself, “I’m hoping not at this point.”
Late Wednesday a passing motorist reported seeing someone who appeared to be fishing along Lake Welsh and police responded quickly, working both shoulders of the road that runs along the lakes edge. It was a false alarm, CBS 2’s Young reported.
For the first time police are now considering the possibility that Eugene Palmer may have gotten out of the area with help from an accomplice. Alerts have have gone out to police departments on the East Coast, Young reported.
Police believe ongoing domestic issues triggered the initial violence.
Tensions mounted between Tammy Palmer and her father-in-law after she took out an order of protection against her husband barring him from the home where she was raising their two children.
She was also seeking a divorce.
Tammy Palmer’s parents are seeking full custody of her two teenage children.
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