Search suspended for missing former police chief
Updated On: Jul 15 2013 12:00:00 AM CDT
Texas Equusearch has suspended their search for former West Columbia Police Chief Michael Palmer, 44, amid allegations of his involvement in child sexual assault and child pornography. He has been missing since Monday morning and his family and friends say they will continue to search for him.
His disappearance comes after the Brazoria County District Attorney's Office executed a search warrant of Palmer's home as part of a child sexual assault and child pornography investigation.
District Attorney Jeri Yenne said, "It's an ongoing investigation."
Michelle Odenwalder, Palmer's cousin, as well as a Texas Equusearch volunteer, is leading the search efforts for Palmer.
"Once we find the vehicle, of course, then we can pinpoint a smaller area and know more on where to concentrate the search," said Odenwalder.
A search headquarters has been set up at Wild Peach Community Church in Brazoria where Palmer was a church member.
Odenwalder said Palmer was last seen in Angleton on Monday around 9:15 a.m. in a red F-150 with the license plate number 15R KY7.
"We don't care about anything that's going on, all we care about is your safety," said Odenwalder.
Back in February, Palmer was arrested for nine counts of tampering with evidence, and possession of a controlled substance, which ultimately ended his position as a police chief.
Now, the district attorney says Palmer is under investigation for child sexual assault and child pornography. The allegations are the last thing the family said they care about. All they want is to hear from Palmer.
"We are all behind you a hundred percent and we just want you home. Michael, if you are watching this, I love you," said Oldenwalder.
Local 2 obtained court documents from the Brazoria County District Attorney's Office. Eighteen pages of documents detail what allegedly happened between Palmer and a young boy. According to investigators, the sexual abuse started back in 1998 and lasted for several years.
The victim told police that, "He had been strapped down onto a bed with handcuffs and straps by Michael Palmer," and that "He was blindfolded with a mask that only had a breathing hole."
Investigators said Palmer videotaped the sexual abuse and some of the evidence was discovered at his West Columbia home. Other evidence was found inside the West Columbia Police Station where he once worked.
Court documents say, "A black box with multiple CDs, a leather mask and things for sex bondage were found on a shelf in Michael Palmer's office at the West Columbia Police Department."
Palmer's family told Local 2 the husband and father of four hasn't been seen since Monday. He took $1,500 from his bank account and disappeared.
Palmer's cousin, Michelle Odenwalder, said he might be running to get away from the accusations.
"He's a very big family man, I'm sure he doesn't want anybody to be embarrassed or upset or anything like that," Odenwalder said.
Palmer's family doesn't believe the accusations against him, they just want him to be found safe.
"We're hoping he is safe and just needing a little time away to clear his head."