Taylor Clark, 19, was shot and killed by a suspected Craigslist killer on Monday morning. On Wednesday evening, Captain Tim Fagan, with the Florissant Police Department, confirmed 24-year-old Michael Gordon was arrested and charged in Clark’s death.
As reported by Fox News, the two men met through a Craigslist ad. Clark, who was a student at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, was attempting to sell his 2007 Nissan 350ZX. Gordon responded to the ad.
Authorities confirmed Clark and Gordon agreed to meet at the MTC Truck Driver Training School, where Gordon was employed. However, instead of taking the car for a test-drive, the suspect shot and killed Taylor Clark. He then hid the teen’s body in the woods before returning to work to complete his shift.
Police will be holding a news conference at 12pm to release details in the death of missing SIUE student Taylor Clark pic.twitter.com/fRCnBqyJLf
— FOX2now (@FOX2now) May 6, 2015
Clark’s abandoned vehicle was found in the driving school parking lot on Monday evening. As there was blood present on the vehicle, detectives launched an extensive search for the missing owner. The teen’s body was eventually located in a wooded area fewer than 400 feet from his car.
Detectives with the Madison County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Department confirmed Gordon responded to Taylor Clark’s Craigslist ad via email and telephone. Captain Fagan confirmed Michael Gordon was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He was booked into the St. Louis County Jail and is currently being held on $1 million bond.
— joelcurrier (@joelcurrier) May 7, 2015
Although Fagan confirmed Clark was “shot one time,” he refused to “specifically talk about motive.”
Tuesday’s Craigslist killing is a grim reminder to follow safety guidelines when conducting business online. As discussed in the Craigslist Personal Safety section, “the overwhelming majority of Craigslist users are trustworthy and well-intentioned.”
However, users are reminded to exercise caution when placing or responding to any online ads. In response to an alarming number of robberies and deaths associated with online ads, many law enforcement agencies are now offering a “safe exchange zone.”
If an official safe exchange zone is not available, buyers and sellers are encouraged to meet in an open and public place. Essentially, Craigslist suggests taking “the same common sense precautions online as you would offline.”
— David Carson (@PDPJ) May 7, 2015
Taylor Clark’s death at the hands of a Craigslist killer stunned his family, friends, and the community. Although Gordon was arrested and charged in the teen’s death, authorities are still seeking the suspect’s vehicle and the murder weapon.
[Image via 10 News]