ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the murder of an 18-year-old woman found dead in a towed car. Investigators say the woman had been working as a prostitute.
According to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, Alberto Palmer, of Woodbury, was arrested Wednesday after an investigation led police to his family’s home in Woodbury.
Police say the victim, 18-year-old Brittany Clardy had been posting ads to backpage.com and that’s how she met Palmer. Investigators think Palmer was a client of Clardy’s.
Authorities said at a Thursday press conference that Clardy’s family had no idea she was working as a prostitute but other associates talked to police.
Family and friends of Clardy say she left her St. Paul home on Feb. 11 and never returned. They were the last ones to see her alive.
Clardy’s body was found on Feb. 21, eight days after the car was towed from Brooklyn Park. Authorities say the towing company did not see her body in the car. The vehicle was taken to a Columbia Heights impound lot.
Police say investigators were able to use the backpage ad information and work backwards, in order to find cell phone numbers and other information that led them to Palmer. Two search warrants were issued in Woodbury and Brooklyn Park.
One warrant was at a home on the 8400 block of Kentucky in Brooklyn Park, the other at the 8000 block of Quarry Ridge Lane in Woodbury.
Investigators say Palmer knew people at both homes and the crime was committed at the home in Brooklyn Park.
Evidence gathered gave police enough cause to arrest Palmer in connection with Clardy’s death.
Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo said it’s an important reminder how dangerous it can be to meet people off websites.
“Being involved in Internet activities, meeting people can be a very dangerous situation and it’s our belief the absolute worst happened to Brittany in this situation,” he said.
Palmer had numerous warrants for his arrest out of the state of Georgia for charges like kidnapping and criminal sexual assault.
The Anoka County Attorney plans to file charges at 9 a.m. Friday.