UPDATE 7: Palmgren Jeep found empty; Search continues Friday
(WRCB) - Sheriff Jim Hammond says the investigators have confirmed the Jeep found on Signal Mountain belongs to Gail Palmgren.
The Hamilton County Sheriff's office says they have discovered the ruby red Jeep Rubicon down a steep cliff off East Brow Road, near Hamilton Road on Signal Mountain.
It took investigators hours to reach the site of the Jeep, but once they arrived, they were able to confirm the vehicle does belong to Gail Palmgren.
However, Sheriff Hammond says investigators did not find a body in the wreckage of the Jeep Rubicon.
The Sheriff's Office says they will bring in cadaver dogs to search the area around the Jeep on Friday.
Sheriff Hammond says they are also working on a plan now to recover the vehicle without damaging it. One plan, according to the sheriff, would be to airlift the vehicle off the mountainside.
Hammond says that will not likely happen Thursday night as crews are running out of daylight.
The discovery comes after Hamilton County deputies began a second aerial search around Signal Mountain "following leads" related to the Gail Palmgren disappearance.
The aerial searches have been planned for this time of year, waiting for the foliage to fall. The Sheriff's Office was able to utilize new infrared technology to aid in the search for the Jeep.
Sheriff Hammond says a second vehicle was also found nearby, but they do not believe it is related to the case.
The location of the discovered Jeep, according to Sheriff Hammond, is near the last place where Palmgren's cell phone produced a signal.
The area is being considered a crime scene by investigators. Investigators took scene photos as they made their way down to the crash site.
Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Janice Atkinson says the W Road will be closed from Mountain Creek Road to the top of East Brow Road until further notice. Residents on the W Road will be asked for identification before being allowed to continue home.
Palmgren was last seen leaving her home on Signal Mountain on April 30th following a dispute with her husband. She has not been seen or heard from since.
Sheriff Hammond says the search will resume Friday morning.
Details as they become available on WRCBtv.com.