Second woman's body found in a towed car is tied to same suspect

Man charged in February death is a suspect in case of another body found in a car.

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Klaressa L. Cook

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Police say they believe the same man killed two women whose bodies were found in cars at Twin Cities impound lots.

Alberto P. Palmer, charged in the February killing of 18-year-old Brittany Clardy of St. Paul, is suspected in the death of Klaressa Cook, authorities said. Cook, 24, who recently moved to the Twin Cities from Georgia, was identified Wednesday as the person whose body was discovered in the trunk of a car last week in Minneapolis.

Brooklyn Park Police Inspector Todd Milburn said authorities took the unusual step of releasing Palmer’s name before charges were filed to reassure the public that they don’t feel there is a risk to broader safety.

“It was safe to say the evidence gathered so far points us in this direction,” Milburn said.

Authorities are not saying why they consider Palmer a suspect in Cook’s death or when she was killed, and Milburn declined to discuss the investigation further.

Palmer, 24, of Woodbury, has been in Anoka County jail since early March, when he was arrested in connection with Clardy’s death.

He previously lived in Georgia and is charged with violent physical and sexual assaults against three women in that state between September and December of 2012.

Milburn said that there isn’t any indication of other victims locally, but that authorities are doing “their due diligence to investigate this aspect.”

Phone call with sister

On Wednesday, Cook’s sister Arianna Russell said she had last heard from Klaressa on Jan. 19. Typically, Cook would call home once or twice a week, Russell said from Georgia. During that last call, Cook said she was in Minnesota, had a job at a car dealership and was living in a hotel.

“She said she was doing really good,” said Russell, 20, the youngest of six children who were raised by their mother. “We didn’t like her being so far away and not knowing. She didn’t give us too much information, but she let us know she was happy.”

On Friday, Russell said, local police came to the family’s home and broke the news of her death.

“They won’t tell us how she died,” Russell said.

Cook’s body was in the trunk of a car that had been towed April 11 from the Rainbow Foods parking lot at 8020 Brooklyn Blvd. in Brooklyn Park to Wrecker Services Inc. at 200 E. Lyndale Av. N., according to Brooklyn Park police. The body was discovered May 20 by lot employees who detected a foul odor.

Russell and another sister both said that they had never heard of the man suspected in Cook’s killing.

Russell said Cook had moved out of her mother’s home in Gainesville, Ga., several months before that last call to live with a boyfriend, who they said was not Palmer. “They traveled and everything. … He was really rich. He took her to Los Angeles, New York, stuff like that” before they broke up.” The Clardy case

Palmer was arrested March 6 in connection with Clardy’s death and has been charged with first-degree murder in that case. Authorities said Clardy had been working as a prostitute and that Palmer met her through the online website backpage.com.

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