Details of Disappearance
Charles was last seen in the Talkeetna Mountains, west of Mastodon Road near Bald Mountain. He and four friends and relatives had parked their cars on Mastadon Road and were going to ride snow machines to their cabin near Sheep Creek.
The handlebar on Charles's own snow machine had snapped, so he was driving a different one. He rode off in the wrong direction and became separated from the others. He has never been heard from again. He was last seen at 7:15 p.m. and was reported missing twelve hours later.
Charles was dressed appropriately for the cold weather, but he didn't have survival gear, a GPS device, food or water. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of him, although searchers did find his snow machine in deep snow several miles from the cabin. He had apparently left the main trail and gone off on a side trail, then got stuck in the soft snow.
Bad weather conditions hampered the search effort, and it was called off after a few days.
Charles's brother, Michael Palmer
, disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1999 and was never found. He was fifteen years old at the time. The two disappearances aren't believed to be related.
Charles left behind three children. He is presumed to have gotten lost or injured in the wilderness. In April 2011, he was declared legally dead.