HAVERSTRAW, N.Y. – Police are maintaining a road patrol around the border of Harriman State Park in hopes that a man wanted in the murder of his daughter-in-law would surrender.
Eugene Palmer, 73, who police describe as an accomplished hunter and an avid outdoorsman, is accused of shooting of Tammy Palmer, 39, a mother of two who was estranged from Eugene Palmer's son.
Palmer allegedly admitted to relatives that he shot Tammy at about 7:40 a.m. Monday, minutes after putting her two children on a school bus.
"He admitted it, he admitted it to his sister," John Panirello, Tammy's father told FoxNews.com. "He said, 'I just shot Tammy.'"
Haverstraw police Chief Charles Miller pulled his officers out of Harriman State Park Thursday after four days of scouring the wooded area.
"We're hoping that by not being aggressive, maybe it will give him a chance to think and come out, maybe call his family to come get him," Miller told The Journal News.
Police discovered Palmer's green 1995 Dodge Ram pickup truck on Tuesday afternoon during a search of the park, about a half-mile from his home.
Bloodhounds on loan by Westchester County police then picked up a scent and traveled up steep ridges before growing too tired.
The park is nearly 46,000 acres long, and the rugged terrain is making search efforts difficult. Palmer's family has also said he had extensive knowledge of the park. Police say he is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. Police also have custody of his cell phone.
Officers have continued to show passing motorists fliers with Palmer's photo, and used a thermal-imaging helicopter Thursday in hopes of picking up a new lead, The Journal News reported.
The park plans to continue with planned events through the weekend, including an Oktoberfest celebration. "There are no issues or concerns about Oktoberfest," Jim Hall, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission executive director told The Journal News.
"It's a long way away and it's an active day-use area," he said.
The relationship between Palmer and his daughter-in-law was reportedly strained after her marriage to his son faltered. Tammy Palmer lived with her children, 12, and 16, in a separate home on the same parcel of land as her father-in-law. She had obtained an order of protection against Palmer’s son, barring him from the property.
Palmer endured the imperfect living situation to provide for her children, her father said.
"She had nowhere else to go," he said. "It was a mess; it was so bad." Palmer's mother has described the marriage as "abusive," and said her daughter lost nearly 200 pounds to try to salvage the relationship.