- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A St. Louis man made his first court appearance Thursday on charges that he shot to death a 19-year-old Illinois college student whom he had contacted about buying a sports car advertised on Craigslist.

Michael Gordon, 24, remained in custody at the St. Louis County jail in lieu of a $1 million, cash-only bond. He didn’t enter a plea and a judge set another hearing for May 18. He is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Taylor Clark, a sophomore engineering student at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Court records did not list an attorney for Gordon.

Police arrested Gordon after his name was found in emails he traded with Clark about the car that Clark was trying to sell. Investigators said the two did not know one another before they met for what was supposed to be a test drive.

Police say Gordon is an employee of a truck driver training center in the St. Louis suburb of Hazelwood, Missouri, not far from where Clark’s 2007 Nissan 350ZX and body were found Tuesday.

Capt. Tim Fagan, the lead investigator in the case, said at a news conference Wednesday night that Gordon is accused of killing Clark while on his lunch break and then trying to hide the body in nearby woods before returning to work.

A witness told police that he saw Gordon get into the passenger seat of Clark’s car with the student driving but that he returned a short time later alone.

Clark, who is from the southwestern Illinois town of St. Jacob, was reported missing by family members on Monday.


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