CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities were awaiting a report from the medical examiner on Friday after human remains were found not far from the wrecked Jeep of a Signal Mountain woman who has been missing for seven months.
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office investigators released information on the discovery of Gail Palmgren's vehicle on Thursday, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Most of the remains were found more than 100 yards from the Jeep, which was on a steep slope of the mountain near Chattanooga. It appeared the driver was not wearing a seat belt when the vehicle ran off a road and plunged down the mountain, police said.
The 44-year-old Palmgren was last seen April 30, dropping off her children at the family's home about two miles away from where the wreck was found.
Palmgren's cell phone and her GPS device were found near the wrecked vehicle. Investigators were examining phone call and text message records.
The Jeep overturned as it rolled down the mountain, and investigators said there was extensive damage to the roof and front end. The vehicle had gone over two rock bluffs before landing on its top 150 feet from another road.
The area was extensively searched at the time of Palmgren's disappearance, but rugged terrain and tree leaves on the forested slope obscured the view from the air.
Sheriff Jim Hammond said the vehicle was found by a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter that used technology that identifies features that would be unusual to terrain. Investigators had to rappel down the slope to reach the vehicle, and authorities were pondering how to get it off the mountain to aid their investigation without further damaging it.