FIRST ON 3: Husband calls police to report missing wife's friend
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - Matthew Palmgren has filed a police report accusing his missing wife's best friend of harassing him.
Police were called to the Palmgren's Signal Mountain home Monday. It's the first time police have answered a call from 40 Ridgerock Drive since Matthew Palmgren reported his wife missing in May.
In the police report, obtained by Channel 3, Palmgren accuses Arlene Durham of taking pictures of his home and following him as he drove his daughter to school.
Durham says that is not true.
"I wasn't following him to school," she told Channel 3 in a phone interview from her Alabama home, "I was just driving the roads."
Durham does admit to taking pictures of Palmgren's car.
"Yeah, I took pictures of his car, but that's not illegal," she said.
The report also indicates Matthew Palmgren was not happy that Durham gave his son a hug when she saw him at the neighbor's house earlier in the day.
Palmgren told police Durham asked the boy to stay quiet about her talking to him.
"I never hugged him, I wasn't no where near that child," Durham said.
Durham says she had a close relationship with both of Palmgren's kids until their mother went missing.
"I'm not allowed to see them now, no one is allowed to see them now, no body, except his side of the family," she said.
In May, a private investigator delivered a notice to Durham's home, telling her she was no longer welcome on the Palmgren's two Alabama lake home properties. A copy was also sent to the Elmore County Sheriff's Department in Wetumpka, Alabama.
Durham says the Palmgren family wants nothing to do with her because she believes Matthew Palmgren knows where his wife is.
"He's afraid I'm going to find out information he doesn't want out there," she said.
But Matthew Palmgren's attorney says he wants Durham questioned about Gail Palmgren's disappearance.
"Arlene Durham, who claims to be Gail's best friend, has been posting aggressive and misleading information on her Facebook page," said Lee Davis.
Davis says Durham became more problematic when she showed up in town over the weekend to attend a rally to inform the public of Gail Palmgren's disappearance.
Davis says it was important to document Monday's events with a police report.
"I frankly don't trust her, I've asked the police to investigate her," said Davis, "she was, by our investigations, the last person who was with Gail Palmgren before she dropped off the kids."
Police records show Matthew Palmgren was the last to talk to his wife on the phone. Investigators say he, and his attorneys, have been cooperative. There are still no leads in the case and no signs of foul play.
"No, I don't," answered Durham, when we asked if she knows where Gail Palmgren is, "if I did, I wouldn't be driving all over God's creation, I wouldn't be driving four hours to rallies to try and bring my friend home."
According to the police report, Durham will not be charged in connection with the harassment allegations. There is currently no court order prohibiting Durham from contacting members of the Palmgren family.
UPDATE ON REWARD IN CASE:
It's still unclear if Tennessee's Governor will offer a reward in the Gail Palmgren case.
In July, Hamilton County District Attorney Bill Cox sent a letter to Governor Bill Haslam asking him to approve reward money for information on what may have happened to Gail.
Cox's office has not received an answer.
A spokesperson for Governor Haslam's office tells Channel 3, he is reviewing the case with legal counsel and has not yet made a decision.
The Bring Gail Home Now group is offering a reward for leads. At last check the group had raised about $1,700.