ANDOVER, Minn. - Authorities say the 18-year-old St. Paul woman whose body was concealed in a car in an impound lot had posted online ads for prostitution, and the man suspected of killing her apparently was a client.
Police said Thursday that victim Brittany Clardy had been posting on Backpage.com, an advertising website.
Police were led to a 23-year-old Woodbury man after looking at cellphones found in the car with Clardy's body.
Clardy was found in her mother's car in a Columbia Heights impound lot Feb. 21, eight days after the car had been towed from Brooklyn Park. Family and friends have said she left her St. Paul home Feb. 11 and never returned.
Police in Georgia say the suspect is wanted there in three assaults of escorts he also met on Backpage.
"It's so tragic, it's just unbelievable," said family friend Todd Schwartz.
Schwartz has known Clardy and her family for a number of years and was surprised to hear the news of her apparent double-life.
"You see no signs of anything going wrong. She always had a smile on her face. She was a wonderful girl to be around," he said.
Clardy worked with children at the North Dale Community Center in St. Paul as an aide, he said where she had a gift with kids, including Schwartz's own granddaughter.
"That was her knack. I always teased her, I don't know what you're going to do in life but it has to be with children," he said.
While police arrested the suspect in Woodbury, they believe he killed Clardy at a home on the 8400 block of Kentucky Avenue in Brooklyn Park.
Neighbors told KARE 11 several police were on scene Wednesday evening.
"We're just looking out the window all the swat team and cops started coming down the road," said neighbor Nick Hamm.
He said he saw police take two children and a woman from the home, but police did not comment about those details at the afternoon news conference.
A person in the driveway of the Brooklyn Park home declined to comment about the case.
Meanwhile, Clardy's loved ones are left with the difficult task of dealing with her murder.
"She was just a wonderful young lady. I can't imagine anyone ever wanting to hurt her for any reason," said Schwartz. "My heart and prayers go out to family because they're a wonderful family."
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