Local mom worries driver will never be charged after son killed on highway, left to die

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RICHMOND, Mo. -- A year after her son was left to die on the side of a highway, a Ray County mom is now worried the driver won’t ever face charges.

Linda Alsup has had three of her family members die in the last year. The death of her 18-year-old son, Tahkota Christiansen, was least expected.

“It’s been really hard not having him call me every half hour on my phone, not texting me, not being able to see him or talk to him,” Alsup said.

Christiansen was killed last November while riding his moped down Highway 10 in Richmond, Missouri, on a Saturday night. For a week, state troopers searched for the driver of a red sedan, who they said hit Christiansen from behind and drove away.

“You can’t just run somebody down and not call for help,” his mother said. “She ran. She ran for a whole week, and she had no intentions of turning herself in.”

Alsup said the driver’s son informed her and authorities that his mother hit Christiansen.

“He messaged me and said, ‘I know who killed your son,' and he said, ‘It was my mother’ and I just about lost it,” Alsup recalled.

The driver apparently told investigators she stopped but didn’t see anything. Paint from her car reportedly matched paint found on Christiansen’s moped.

“Unless you were impaired in some way, you had to have at least seen what you hit,” Alsup said. “His moped was right on the side of the highway.”

Alsup said her conversations with the Daviess County prosecutor, who has handled the case because of a conflict of interest in Ray County, haven’t been promising.

“I’m not really getting a straight answer other than there has to be intent, and I don’t understand that,” Alsup said.

She said prosecutor Annie Gibson suggested possibly charging the driver with leaving the scene of an accident, but that it likely wouldn’t happen. Even if it did, Christiansen’s mom thinks the woman deserves a harsher charge.

“I think that she should be charged with vehicular manslaughter,” Alsup said. “You can’t just run somebody down and not call for help.”

A cross now sits at the spot where Christiansen died. His mother drives by it almost every day, and while she waits for justice for her son, the memorial offers a bit of comfort.

“It gets a little easier because I can say hi to him as I go by, but it’s not easy,” Alsup said.

FOX4 reached out to Gibson but she would only say that the case was still an open investigation. She is expected to meet with Alsup on Dec. 6.

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