Mother of Homicide Victim Accuses Authorities of ‘Dropping the Ball’ in Son’s Case

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A Des Moines mother is breaking her silence on why she believes her son’s murder case should be closed.

Choice Elliston, 23, was shot and killed during a shootout between two cars in May. Sixth months later, police have yet to make any arrests in the case.

Elliston’s mother claims the suspect was sitting in the back seat of the car in which Elliston was riding, and says someone should be behind bars serving time for killing her son.

“The police and John Sarcone reassured me that we would have justice in this case, but that has not been the case,” says Monique Elliston, the victim’s mother. “I feel like the police have dropped the ball. They expect the community to come forward. We pay the police to protect and serve us, they need to do their work. I did more investigating than them.”

Elliston claims to know who it was that pulled the trigger, and says police know, as well.

“This case should have been solved months ago. If I knew from month one what happened in my son’s murder, then there shouldn't have been any issue to who should have been prosecuted.”

Elliston is calling for the governor to hold Polk County Attorney John Sarcone accountable in the case. She also says police need to do more groundwork to get tight-lipped witnesses to come forward.

“Of course they are being uncooperative, but they have been cooperative enough,” she says.

Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek disagrees.

“You’re either cooperative or uncooperative, that's it. There is no middle ground there. You need to tell us what you know. Don't leave details out because we can’t put them in there,” he says.

Police say they've talked to the witnesses in this case several times. Detectives say they likely know who did it, but need the evidence to prove it.

“We know who did it. I can bet you my next pay check that I know who did this, but without the evidence we cannot charge them, and without cooperation we're not going to get the evidence,” Parizek says.

He adds while the case is slow moving, investigators will revisit the case often in hopes of coaxing witnesses into talking.

This year, there have been 24 homicides in Des Moines; six of them remain open.