NEW YORK, New York - On Wednesday the FBI made an addition to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
Eugene Palmer, wanted for allegedly shooting and killing his daughter-in-law outside her home in Stony Point, in Rockland County, part of the New York City metropolitan area, on September 24, 2012, is now in the company of others that are being actively pursued by the FBI. Palmer should be considered armed and dangerous.
After he allegedly fired three shots at Tammy Palmer, 39, Eugene Palmer was last seen entering New York's Harriman State Park. A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading to his capture.
Palmer would now be 80 years old. Although some members of his family have asserted that he likely died in the Harriman woods, Haverstraw Police Detective Michael Cruger said no body was found during multiple searches, and he believes Palmer is very much alive.
The victim of the shooting was married to Eugene Palmer's son and lived with their two children close to several members of the Palmer family on a large parcel of land. According to the Haverstraw Police Department and the FBI, Eugene Palmer developed a strained relationship with Tammy Palmer as her marriage to Eugene's son deteriorated.
"Before the incident," Detective Cruger said, "a judge issued an order of protection."
On the morning of September 24, 2012, Tammy Palmer walked her children to catch the school bus at the end of the property's long driveway. Eugene Palmer was believed to have been hiding in the woods, and as she walked the driveway back toward her home, Palmer allegedly shot at her from a distance, striking her arm and then missing her with a second shot. The third, fatal shot was delivered at close range to the victim's chest.
FBI New York Special Agent Andrew Fisher said that after the shooting, Eugene Palmer fled into the wooded 45,000-acre state park that borders the family property: "He drove his truck about 100 yards into Harriman State Park and walked in," he said Wednesday.
Law enforcement located his vehicle, and with the help of search dogs, followed his scent to a campground in the woods. The dogs lost the scent at another roadway in the park.
Fisher says the fact that Palmer is a senior citizen does not make him less of a risk or less of a priority to law enforcement. "His age doesn't change the level of violence in this crime," he said.
"When detectives and prosecutors realized Palmer most likely left New York state after the murder, they asked for our help and we filed a federal warrant. That warrant allows our agents all over the United States and the world to investigate, and opens up a vast number of resources to find Eugene Palmer and bring him to justice," William F. Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI said Wednesday. "We can't bring back Tammy Palmer, but we hope finding the man who is accused of murdering her will offer some solace to the grieving family."
Rockland County District Attorney Kevin Gilleece said, "After nearly seven years and thousands of hours of investigative work, we hope the addition of Eugene Palmer to the FBI's Top Ten list will yield substantive tips to this fugitive's whereabouts. The Rockland County District Attorney's Office is extremely grateful for our ongoing partnership with the FBI. With help from the public, I hope we can provide justice for Tammy and her children."
Town of Haverstraw Police Chief Peter Murphy said, "I would like to thank the FBI for placing Eugene Palmer on the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. This was a heinous crime that took the life of a mother of two children. Our hope is that the additional federal resources and publicity will lead to his apprehension, thereby providing some closure and justice to Tammy's family."
Palmer is mostly bald with some grey hair and brown eyes. He is 5'10" tall, weighs 220 pounds, and has a misshapen thumb on his left hand. He is a car racing enthusiast and an experienced hunter and outdoorsman.
Anyone with any information concerning Eugene Palmer, should call their local FBI office or contact their nearest American Embassy or Consulate. Tips can also be submitted at tips.fbi.gov.