Rockland County law enforcement officials will seek a grand jury indictment against Eugene Palmer, who is the main suspect in the death of his daughter-in-law.
Thomas Zugibe, the county district attorney, said an indictment -- which would result in a warrant -- is needed in order to successfully prosecute Palmer, who has been missing since the shooting on Sept. 24 that left Tammy Palmer dead.
"We're going to seek formal charges by way of an indictment," Zugibe told Newsday. "It's important at this stage because no one knows if he's alive or dead so we have to assume at this point he's still alive."
"We need to be cognizant of our witnesses and our evidence, so we're seeking an indictment to preserve those."
The top charge against Eugene Palmer, 73, would be second-degree murder, but prosecutors are also looking into other charges, such as weapons possession.
"It's also very important that we secure a warrant and have it on national police computers so other agencies nationwide would be aware of the fact he is wanted," Zugibe said. "If he'd be stopped for a traffic infraction, there'd be no reason for them to keep him. It's important for the officers' safety."
Zugibe expects the indictment to come in the next several weeks.
Although Zugibe declined to discuss specifics of the evidence and witnesses he has lined up, he said, "the Town of Haverstraw Police has left no stone unturned."
Tammy Palmer's family believes she was killed because she had brought domestic violence charges against her husband, John Palmer. Eugene Palmer urged his daughter-in-law to drop the case, but she refused, causing heated arguments and tension.
Searches resumed in Harriman State Park last week, where Palmer has been suspected of hiding, but nothing was found. Miller said his officers would not search the park Tuesday and will meet later in the day to discuss further search possibilities.
"Wanted" posters with Eugene Palmer's photo have circulated to police departments across the nation but have not turned up any clues.