Eugene Palmer, of Stony Point, N.Y., is wanted in the Sept. 24, 2012, shooting death of his daughter-in-law, Tammy Palmer, in what authorities described as a "cold-blooded" and "premeditated" murder. (FBI)
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - A New York man who police say shot and killed his daughter-in-law before fleeing into Harriman State Park nearly seven years ago was added to the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list Wednesday.
The agency is offeirng a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Eugene Palmer, 80.
The former Stony Point, New York resident was accused in the Sept. 24, 2012, shooting death of his daughter-in-law, Tammy Palmer.
Investigators described her murder "cold-blooded" and "premeditated."
"This was a heinous crime that took the life of a mother of two children," said Rockland County District Attorney Kevin Gilleece. "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 believed to be alive and living under an alias.He is consider armed and dangerous.
On an early September morning, Palmer allegedly waited for his 39-year-old daughter-in-law to place her two children on a school bus before shooting her three times with a bolt-action shotgun as she walked up the driveway toward her home, police said.
Palmer, a retired part-time park ranger, then fled into Harriman State Park -- a 46,000-acre stretch of woodland filled with caves, root cellars and abandoned mine shafts that bordered the man's home, according to police. Palmer drove to his niece's home shortly after the alleged killing and confessed to the crime.
He also left money with his sister to pay his taxes and told the woman to give him an hour before contacting authorities, Detective Sgt. George Lutz of the Haverstraw Police Department told Fox News.
Hours after the shooting, police found Palmer's abandoned pickup truck on an old fire road about a quarter mile into the park. An extensive manhunt ensued, using air and foot patrols as well as bloodhounds.
A "hit" was detected by one of the dogs, leading police to a campsite within the park, but it remains unclear whether the scent belonged to Palmer.
The Haverstraw Police Department then requested assistance from state and federal law enforcement, including the FBI.
They found no conclusive evidence of Palmer in the park, other than his truck parked deep into the woods.
"He knows this park like the back of his hand," Lutz said of Palmer, known to locals as a so-called "Mountain Man," well-versed in the many trails and caves inside the park.
A law enforcement source previously told Fox News the U.S. Marshals service was assisting police in the investigation, which has taken authorities to areas across the country, including Florida and Arizona.
A local news report had claimed Palmer might be in Mexico, but the source said it's believed he's currently hiding out in another state.
Palmer is 5’10”, with brown eyes and gray hair. His left thumb is deformed. He is known to be an experienced hunter and avid outdoorsman, with an interest in cars and auto racing.
Investigators believe Palmer has ties to upstate New York and Florida.
Police say Palmer became increasingly enraged over "domestic issues" between Tammy and her estranged husband, Palmer’s son John.
Tammy Palmer had reportedly filed an order of protection against her husband, meaning John could not step foot on the 3 1/2 acres of land where both Tammy and Eugene lived in homes close to each another.
Palmer's two sons, John and Clarence, could not be reached for interviews.
The family previously told the Journal News that Palmer acted out of character and snapped that morning, suggesting the alleged murder was not planned in advance.
They told the newspaper Palmer fled the scene in his slippers, leaving his breakfast uneaten on his kitchen table.
"If the police didn't botch the hunt in the beginning, my father's remains would be where they belong," Clarence Palmer told the newspaper in 2013.
"They were afraid of going into the woods; afraid of a man with a shotgun, supposedly. If he wanted to be found, he would have finished himself off here. He went into the woods. I think he fell into a diabetic coma."
Lutz and his team have always been dubious of such a claim.
"I don't know how you'd know what somebody was wearing unless you were actually looking at them," Lutz said.
"He waited for his grandchildren to get on the bus before executing their mother. That's pretty cold-blooded."
Tips can also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov. Individuals calling from outside of the United States should contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.