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Police investigators are currently looking into the disappearance and death of Taylor Clark, a sophomore engineering student at the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, who was last seen trying Monday morning while he was also trying to sell his 2007 sports car on Craigslist.
Detectives are currently examining his phone records and Craigslist account in search for hints about what may have happened with the young man, whose body was found Tuesday 400 yards from the car he was trying to sell.
Clark, 19, posted a Craigslist ad two weeks ago providing details on his Nissan 350ZX. In the ad, he described the vehicle as a fun car which is “fun to drive.” The price he was asking was $11,000.
The police found his car parked at MTC Truck Driver Training School in Hazelwood, Missouri, which is about 40-minutes away from his home and about half-an-hour drive from his university’s campus. Police officers found his body outside of the car in what seemed like a shallow grave.
According to local media, the young man was gunned and killed from close range. A spokesperson from the Florissant Police Department announced Wednesday that Clark’s death was clearly a homicide but no suspects were found. Investigators currently try to reach as many of Clark’s acquaintances in an attempt to learn more about his death.
His girlfriend, who lives near his college, said that she last saw him Monday morning, while his family called the police on the same day at 8 p.m. to report him missing. The police said that he paid a short visit to his girlfriend but he didn’t complain about having any troubles with anyone. Moreover, he didn’t mention anything unusual or suspicious.
But Monday morning he also contacted at least one potential buyer for his sports car. On Craigslist, he said that the vehicle would “take off like a rocket” since it was recently “dyno tuned.” Additionally, the Illinois student mentioned the car’s small improvements such as tinted lights and racing tires and that the Nissan was the best car he was able to drive ever.
In the ad, a phone number was listed and several e-mail addresses. On Tuesday morning, Clark drove his car in the vicinity of The Mills Outlet Mall. According to his phone records, he reached the mall around 11:30 a.m.
Yet, investigators couldn’t tell whether he was there to meet with a potential buyer. The police think that it is very likely that somebody may have set him up. However, they have no other hints, nor suspects or persons that may know more about what happened that day.
On Wednesday, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville said that their staff’s hearts and minds were with the young man’s family and friends as they struggled to cope with the tragic loss. The university also noted that it was indeed tragic to lose one’s life during a season that promises “brighter days ahead” especially for young students. According to school records, Clark finished all his final exams and was ready to begin the next semester as he paid for it in full.
One of his friends said that he was so shocked when hearing the news that for a second he thought they were talking about the wrong person.
Image Source: ABC7