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Family of Ray County teen killed on moped pleas for help finding driver who fled scene

RICHMOND, Mo. -- A Ray County family wants answers after a driver left their teen brother and son to die on the side of the road.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to look for the driver who hit and killed 18-year-old Tahkota Christiansen on Saturday evening on Highway 10 near Richmond.

“It’s really hard knowing that I’m never going to talk to him again,” his sister Taryn Alsup said as she wiped tears from her eyes.

Tahkota Christiansen

Christiansen and his sister always shared a special bond. He was two when she was born with a digestive condition and would comfort her when she cried.

“I just cried all the time, and mom said he would just hold me and try to make me feel better,” Alsup said.

She said the two talked all the time, but that all changed on Saturday. Christiansen was riding his new moped down Missouri Highway 10 when the driver of a red Pontiac Grand Am hit him from behind and drove away, according to MSHP.

Christiansen died on the side of the highway.

“I feel like a part of me is lost,” said his mother, Linda Alsup. “I feel like somebody just stomped on my chest, and I don’t know how to make that go away. And I still see these visions of what happened to him, and I wish that I knew exactly what happened.”

His mom said she can’t stop thinking about how much her son may have suffered during his last moments or why the driver left the scene.

“It’s hard for me to believe that anyone could be that cruel,” Alsup said. “To know that they hit someone and didn’t stop and try to get them help. I just don’t understand how someone could do that.”

Linda and Taryn Alsup

As the family sifted through pictures Tuesday afternoon, they couldn’t help but think of the loss they will feel this Christmas.

“It’s going to be hard, and his stocking will still be full,” his mom said.

She said her son may not be with them physically, but his presence will remain.

“We’ll still have Christmas with him,” Alsup said.

Troopers believe the model year of the red Pontiac Grand Am is between 1999-2005 and has damage on the front passenger side. If you have any information, call MSHP at 816-622-0800.

Christiansen will be laid to rest Saturday near Richmond.

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