Details of Disappearance
Michael spent the night at a friend's home in Wasilla, Alaska on June 4, 1999. The night, he slipped out of the house and attended a graduation party with three friends near the Meadow Lake subdivision outside of Wasilla. He was last seen riding a bicycle down Pittman Road in the direction of his family's residence at approximately 4:00 a.m. His residence was approximately nine miles from the location of the party.
His friends had been riding with him but he fell behind them. They waited for him at the 7-Eleven on Parks Highway, but gave up and assumed he went home. He never did arrive at his residence, however. His mother reported him missing at 3:00 p.m. that day, eleven hours after he was last seen.
Michael has never been seen again. The bicycle, which he had borrowed, was located sometime later in the Little Susitna River, which runs roughly parallel to the Pittman Road and Silver Drive intersection. Michael's high-top Converse sneakers were also discovered near a private runway for a homeowner's personal aircraft. They were wet and muddy. No other evidence concerning his whereabouts was discovered.
Some reports have speculated that Michael may have been beaten by an unknown suspect or suspects while riding his bicycle. A local youth claimed he witnessed Michael being beaten and shot on a bridge, but later the young man admitted he had made up the story.
Others have theorized that Michael may have fallen into the river and died of hypothermia shortly afterwards, but tracker dogs could not trace his scent there and no one saw a body in the still, clear water.
Michael's older brother, Charles "Chucky" Palmer V
, disappeared near Talkeetna, Alaska in April 2010, almost eleven years after Michael vanished. Charles was 30 years old at the time. He went on a snow machine ride and never returned, and his snow machine was later found stuck in the deep snow. He is presumed to have perished of exposure, and was declared legally dead in April 2011.
Michael's family stated he was not a troubled teen in 1999 and it would be unlike him to run away from home and be gone for so long without contacting his family. His father believes he may be deceased. His case remains unsolved.