Police: Murder Victim Worked as Prostitute; Woodbury Man to be Charged Friday
The teenager’s body was found in a car in a Columbia Heights impound lot last month. Alberto Prece Palmer, 23, was arrested in Woodbury on Wednesday night.
Update: 11:13 a.m., Friday, March 8
Palmer has been charged with intentional second-degree murder.
Update: 4:18 p.m., Thursday, March 7
It was Brittany Clardy’s work as a prostitute that led to her murder in Brooklyn Park and discovery of her body in Columbia Heights, authorities said at a Thursday press conference.
The arrest of suspect Alberto Prece Palmer at his Woodbury home followed an investigation into ads Clardy placed in Backpage.com, along with information from several cell phones found in the car in which her body was discovered. Her body was found in a vehicle towed to Columbia Heights impound lot in February.
Police arrested Palmer, 23, at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the 8000 block of Quarry Ridge Lane in Woodbury. The Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Woodbury Police Department executed a search warrant and made the arrest.
Palmer "has made some admissions to his involvement with the crime" since his arrest, said Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office.
Palmer is being held in the Anoka County Jail on multiple warrants for his arrest issued in Georgia. Anoka County prosecutors plan to file charges against him Friday morning, when he makes his first court appearance.
Authorities were not certain how long Palmer had been in Minnesota.
“A number of months is the best we can tell you,” Sommer said.
Palmer's warrants in Georgia relate to cases of violence against women who posted ads on Backpage.com, the Pioneer Press reports.
The impound lot where Clardy's body was discovered concealed in the passenger compartment of a vehicle is in the 3800 block of Central Avenue NE, Columbia Heights. Regarding where Clardy's body was found, Sommer refused to give more details about the exact location, except to say it was not in the trunk.
Clardy's parents were not aware of her work as a prostitute, Sommer said, though other people who knew her did know about it. Authorities believe Palmer was Clardy's client, not her pimp, he said.
Palmer will face any Minnesota charges first, ahead of prosecution on the Georgia charges, for which he was officially arrested Wednesday in Woodbury.
Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo credited "good old-fashioned police work" as well as 21st century forensic investigation for the arrest of Palmer.
A Twin Cities apartment parking lot, from which the car with Clardy inside was initially towed, was not the crime scene, said Insp. Todd Milburn of the Brooklyn Park Police Department.
The crime scene, Milburn said, was at a residence the 8400 block of Kentucky Ave. N. in Brooklyn Park. It's a residential neighborhood, he said, and the residence was not at an apartment building.
A Woodbury man was arrested Wednesday night in connection with the murder of Brittany Charise Clardy, whose body was found in a car in a Columbia Heights impound lot last month.
Alberto Prece Palmer, 23, was arrested on suspicion of murder but had not yet been charged, according to a Thursday morning release from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities are planning a 3 p.m. press conference.
Palmer was apprehended the evening of Wednesday, March 6, at a home at the 8000 block of Quarry Ridge Lane in Woodbury. He is currently being held in the Anoka County Jail.
The body of Clardy, an 18-year-old from St. Paul, was found Feb. 21 in the car, which had been towed to the impound lot eight days earlier.
Her body was found “concealed inside the passenger compartment,” according to a Feb. 23 Star Tribune story.
Palmer, meanwhile, has numerous warrants for his arrest out of the state of Georgia, according to the release.
A separate search warrant was also executed in Brooklyn Park, the release says, and members from that city’s police department, along with officials from the Anoka County Attorney’s Office and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, will be on hand at the press conference.
Clardy’s family reported her missing after she left their home on Feb. 11 in her mother’s car to go to the store and did not return phone calls, the Star Tribune story says. An Anoka County detective told the newspaper she did not put herself in the vehicle in which she was found.
It's not the practice of towing companies to do any kind of vehicle inventory when towing cars, KARE 11 reported, citing police.
The release from Anoka County says authorities had probable cause to arrest Palmer.
Clardy had worked at the North Dale Recreation Center, helping care for children at a free after-school program called Rec Check, according to the Pioneer Press.
Check back for updates.