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Continued: Tuesday: Police know how, can't explain why

It's believed to be the first homicide connected to Craigslist, where people trade merchandise and hunt for jobs.

A warning appeared on the site Tuesday in the section of "Education" jobs, which includes a number of ads seeking nannies and baby-sitters. Under the heading, "Warning -- for those who don't watch the news," the ad read: "Someone who answered a Craigslist ad for a nanny job ended up dead. Be careful out there."

A Craigslist veteran

Tony Dotson, 19, is one of Anderson's closest friends and a former neighbor. He recalled how Anderson introduced him to Craiglist about a year ago when the pair went to Minnetonka to get a motor for a go-cart they were building.

"I'm still so confused on why," Dotson said. "I don't even know what I'd say to him. I'm just blank."

Anderson loved rebuilding engines, shooting paintballs and archery arrows at targets in a nearby park, according to Dotson and Jake Von Bank, another longtime friend and neighbor. They'd often hold Halo parties, hooking up TVs and playing video games.

They insist Anderson was never violent and seldom showed interest in women.

"He would never raise a fist to anybody," Dotson said. "He was always shy around girls. That's what baffles me."

Anderson studied auto mechanics, according to his friends, but dropped out last fall from Cedar Alternative High School in Eagan. After working in auto parts warehouses, he landed a jet-fueling job at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport a few months ago.

He was working nights at the airport, where police arrested him Friday.

He lived at his family's two-story home with his parents. His father drives a truck after being laid off as a Northwest Airlines mechanic. Michael is the youngest of Steven and Barbara Anderson's three children.

His parents attended Tuesday's brief bail hearing, held in a glassed-in jail courtroom in Shakopee.

"Let's all let the judicial process take its course," said defense attorney Robert M. Speeter.

Dotson and Von Bank said the last time they saw Anderson, in September, they noticed he had cut his longtime mullet haircut. They'd often tease him about his hair and the turquoise color of his house, which they called "Aquafresh toothpaste." Anderson always chuckled at the playful ribbing.

"He said he had to get back into the routine of sleeping" after working nights at the airport, Dotson said. "He seemed fine. Just fine. This whole thing gets you thinking hard. It's like a bad dream."

curt.brown@startribune.com • 612-673-4767 cxiong@startribune.com • 612-673-4391 jadams@startribune.com • 612-673-7658

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