The search for a 73-year-old man wanted for allegedly killing the daughter in law with whom he often quarreled led police deep into a New York state park on Wednesday.
Police from the town of Haverstraw are pursuing Eugene Palmer with caution, because he's a skilled hunter and outdoorsman who's often been seen brandishing a shotgun outside his home.
Police believe that Palmer shot his son's wife Tammy Palmer, 39, on Monday. Tammy and John Palmer, who separated this year, have two children and lived together in a home on Eugene Palmer's sprawling property. Tammy and Eugene frequently argued, NBC New York reported.
As authorities appeared to cordon off Palmer's apparent hiding spot, concerns mounted that the suspect would resort to violence.
“He’s very coldhearted,” John Pannirello, Tammy Palmer’s father, said to The New York Times. “The detective says he won’t be surprised if something goes on between us and him, if he has guns with him. I just have a bad, bad feeling.”
Signs that police were on the right track included the discovery Tuesday of Palmer's abandoned pickup truck and the remnants of a campfire in Harriman State Park, according to the Journal-News.
Hikers have been warned to steer clear of the park's backcountry as police, using dogs, try to uncover Palmer's hideout.
There's abundant wildlife and edible vegetation that could sustain a master outdoorsman like Palmer, but he's also beset by medical concerns. He's diabetic and has had a heart attack, reprots said.
Before apparently disappearing into the wilderness, Palmer's sister Elaine Babcock says he confessed the killing to her, the Rockland County Times reported. He gave her cash to pay his taxes and asked for an hour's head start for his getaway before she notified the authorities.
It's believed that Palmer's anger towards Tammy boiled over because she filed a restraining order against her husband about a month ago.
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