By Jonathan Allen
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hikers were being urged to steer clear of a popular New York state park for the weekend while police search for a man suspected of shooting his daughter-in-law and believed to be armed and hiding in the thickly wooded area.
Police have been searching for Eugene Palmer, 73, since Monday in connection with the killing of Tammy Palmer, his son's 39-year-old wife. They believe he is probably roaming the woods of Harriman State Park, some 30 miles north of Manhattan, after finding his deserted pickup truck near a park entrance.
New York's parks department has closed down the campsite at the 47,000-acre park and is urging people to stay away while the manhunt continues.
Palmer, who has a white beard, is known to go hunting in the park's woods, according to Martin Lund, a spokesman for the Haverstraw Police Department.
"We are urging (visitors) to use common sense," said Dan Keefe, a parks department spokesman, adding that fliers had been posted at the park's trailheads.
Police in bulletproof vests have been scouring the park this week with the help of search dogs and have flown a helicopter over the park with heat-tracking equipment in attempts to find Palmer.
Palmer and his daughter-in-law lived in neighboring homes in the town of Haverstraw. Palmer has not been seen since his daughter's body was found outside her home some time after her two children went to school on Monday.
(Editing by Paul Thomasch and Prudence Crowther)