Police searched the outskirts of Harriman State Park Tuesday, but officials said there was no indication that they were any closer to cornering slaying suspect Eugene Palmer.
"We can't keep on sending an army of men into the woods when we don't know where he is in the woods or where he may be hiding," Haverstraw Police Chief Charles Miller said.
Miller said two officers were covering the perimeter of the park, but foul weather grounded aircraft and kept the K-9 unit at bay. He said decisions on whether to mount a search would be made daily.
"We are still looking for evidence as to where Palmer may be," Miller said. "I still believe he's in the park someplace. I'm still hoping he's alive, but can't say for sure."
Palmer, an avid outdoorsman, is believed to have fled into the park after the fatal shooting of his estranged daughter-in-law, Tammy Palmer, last Monday.
Miller said searchers have found no additional clues since his truck was recovered last week. On Monday, trained dogs were taken to the area where Palmer's truck was found, but no further leads were uncovered.
The wet weather also has curbed the ability of police to traipse through the woods.
"Walking through the woods with the terrain is difficult when wet, so we don't want to risk any officers getting hurt," Miller said.
Police have scaled back their search for Palmer, hoping that he'll come out on his own.
Miller said Eugene Palmer's family has cooperated in the search, but he declined to say whether the family believes Palmer has left the wooded area that surrounds his Willow Grove Road property on the Haverstraw-Stony Point border.
"I don't know what they believe," Miller said.
The Palisades Interstate Park Commission issued a warning Monday, urging hikers to avoid the park's interior while the search continues. Palmer is believed to be armed and dangerous, police say.
Beaver Park Campground will remain closed.
The thick cover of fallen leaves has made it difficult for the sensors on a State Police helicopter to pick up heat given off by humans on the ground.
During a funeral Mass on Saturday, Tammy Palmer, 39, was remembered as a loving mother devoted to her two children, Rosemarie, 16, and John, 12.
"We trust that God is going to make all things right," the Rev. Joseph LaMorte said.
A Rockland County judge has given custody of Tammy Palmer's two children to her parents while their father, John Palmer, has been given permission to visit them several times a week.
Tammy Palmer's family believes she was killed because she had brought criminal charges of abuse against her husband and had rejected Eugene Palmer's insistence that she drop the charges, even when he threatened her.
When asked how long Eugene Palmer, a diabetic, could stick it out in the woods, Miller said, "It could be a long time."
With News 12