Investigators believe Clardy met up with Palmer on Feb. 11. Her mother said Clardy drove off in her car that day, saying she was going to the store, and never returned, the complaint says.
A little more than a week later, Clardy’s mother got a letter saying her car had been towed from a Brooklyn Park apartment complex parking lot. Police traveled to the company’s impound lot and discovered Clardy’s body in the backseat, covered with bedding. An autopsy indicated she died of multiple blows to the head.
Detectives learned Clardy had been working as a prostitute and posting online massage ads that listed her cellphone number. Using phone records, they discovered Clardy had called Palmer’s cellphone five times in less than 15 minutes on Feb. 11, the complaint says.
Investigators subpoenaed Palmer’s phone records and determined he had used his phone to order a pizza on Feb. 13 from his brother’s Brooklyn Park home, which was near the parking lot where Clardy’s mother’s car had been parked.
Police searched his brother’s house Wednesday and found blood all over the carpet and in the garage. They also found a pair of pants they believe were Clardy’s, according to the complaint.
A number of people at the home — the complaint doesn’t say who they were — told officers Palmer had been staying there in February and they had seen a car in the driveway that resembled Clardy’s mother’s.
A girl at the home said she came home from school early one day in February and found Palmer cleaning up what he said was spilled Kool-Aid. She also identified the bedding Clardy’s body was hidden in as coming from her room, the complaint says.
Detectives arrested Palmer Wednesday evening at a home in Woodbury, a St. Paul suburb, by tracking his cellphone. They found two of Clardy’s cellphones in Palmer’s backpack, according to police.