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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2007
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Scott Millsap, left, and Johnny Millsap at Riverwalk Marina Sunday participating in the search for their cousin, Todd Jeffery Palmer.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Scott Millsap, left, and Johnny Millsap at Riverwalk Marina Sunday participating in the search for their cousin, Todd Jeffery Palmer.

Search on
the Tennessee

Rescue sqauds hit river in hunt for missing man

By Catherine Godbey
cgodbey@decaturdaily.com · 340-2441

A search for a missing man was under way Sunday night in and along the Tennessee River near the General Electric Co. plant in Decatur.

The Morgan County Rescue Squad was called out at 11:44 a.m. Sunday to search for Jeffery Todd Palmer, 43, of Neel, said William “Ski” Szczepanski, the squad’s communications captain.

The search teams discovered Palmer’s canoe and some personal items in shallow river waters, Szczepanski said. He declined to be specific about the personal items. Palmer, an employee of GE, used the company’s boat launch to go out on the river 48 hours earlier before the search started.

“The last anyone saw him was 11 Friday morning, when he checked in at the GE guard shack,” Szczepanski said.

“He made a comment that he was going out hunting, searching for arrowheads and camping. His family said that this is normal activity for him.”

“This is a very involved search that includes a lot of people,” said Szczepanski.

The Morgan County Rescue Squad joined forces with rescue squads from Limestone, Law-rence and Cullman counties, as well as the Alabama state troopers’ helicopter unit, Alabama Marine Police, Morgan County Emergency Management Agency, search dog teams and the Decatur Police Department.

They were searching on land, in the water and in the air.

The teams were concentrating their search between the GE plant and the U.S. 31 bridge. They were coping with darkness and dropping temperatures. The National Weather Service predicted temperatures in the low 40s.

“Right now every indication shows that we won’t suspend the search and it will continue on through the night,” Szczepanski said.

Palmer was still missing at 10:45 p.m.

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