Des Moines Police Identify Pedestrian Killed in November Hit-and-Run Crash

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DES MOINES, IOWA — The Des Moines Police Department has identified a man killed in a hit-and-run accident in November after months of working to learn his name.

Jeffrey James Larson, 68, was killed on November 26th while walking in the intersection of SE 14th Street and Watrous Avenue on November 26th. Larson was taken to a Des Moines hospital where he died from injuries sustained in the crash. However, Larson wasn’t carrying any identification and police were unable to identify him following the crash.

During their investigation, police spoke with numerous people who said they knew of the victim but didn’t know his name. Police knew they needed to release a photo of the crash victim to the public in hopes of identifying him, but had only autopsy photos available to them.

Des Moines officers reached out for help from a colleague with the Pleasant Hill Police Department. Detective Tim Brown is a longtime law enforcement member and also an accomplished artist. Using autopsy photos, Det. Brown was able to provide a sketch of the victim. Des Moines Police released that drawing in early December, but still couldn’t find a lead in their investigation.

That changed on December 16th when police were called out to check on the welfare of a south side resident. Police found car parked in the driveway and ran the license plate number. When officers saw the driver’s license photo of the car’s registered owner, they instantly recognized him from the sketch released weeks earlier.

Police were able to identify Larson as the victim. Family members tell police that he lead a quiet, isolated life and didn’t own a phone. Instead, he preferred to meet with family and friends face-to-face, but that had been impossible to do during the pandemic and he hadn’t been heard from for months.

Police arrested the driver responsible for the man’s death. Authorities charged 22-year-old Lim Bol Choul of Des Moines with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and no insurance. 

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