Missouri man arrested in slaying of student selling car through Craigslist

Reuters News
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Posted: May 07, 2015 6:33 AM

(Reuters) - A Missouri man has been arrested on suspicion of shooting dead an Illinois college student looking to sell his car to the suspect during a meeting arranged through online classified website Craigslist, police said.

Michael Gordon, a 24-year-old St. Louis resident, was arrested on Tuesday and was being held in a county jail on $1 million bond, Florissant Police Department spokesman Tim Fagen told a news conference late on Wednesday.

The body of Taylor Clark, a civil engineering student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, according to his Twitter page, was found at the truck driver training center where Gordon worked.

"The victim and the suspect did connect through Craigslist after the victim listed a vehicle for sale," Fagen told reporters. "They were going to meet and the vehicle was going to be looked at and test-driven."

Gordon shot Taylor one time and took his body to a nearby wooded area and attempted to hide it, Fagen said.

Police departments nationwide, responding to rising alarm over violent crimes linked to online classified websites, are urging buyers and sellers to use building lobbies and parking lots to safely meet strangers and exchange cash for goods.

Craigslist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In March, a pregnant 26-year-old Colorado woman responding to an online advertisement went to a private home to buy baby clothes and had her fetus cut from her womb. She survived but her baby died.

A suburban Atlanta couple were killed in January after seeking to buy a non-existent 1966 Mustang convertible, and a Pennsylvania man was lured to his death last year after responding to an ad seeking "companionship."

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Mark Heinrich)