Metro’s Most Wanted – Mother insists someone knows who killed her son

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - "The death certificate says ‘homicidal violence by undetermined means.’"

Wanda Hartso still doesn't know what happened to her son. Joseph Hartsoe didn’t show up for Thanksgiving dinner nearly two years ago. Wanda and her family reported him missing.

Three months later, Joseph’s body was found buried in the snow by railroad tracks in the 3000 block of Wharf in north St. Louis. He had been likely beaten to death. He was 22.

“We couldn’t have a regular funeral because of the body condition, so we didn’t get to view it or anything. We didn’t get to say goodbye. So I can only imagine what they done to him,” Hartsoe said.

No arrests have been made for Joseph’s murder. The friend he was last seen with was questioned by police but released.

“He knows what happened to Joey,” Hartsoe said. “I guess he doesn’t want his name in it, but from what I know of him it’s something that he would do.”

Police are calling that friend a person of interest but need help solving the case.

"Just because the family says he was the last person that was in his car they seen with is not enough to charge somebody with murder,” said Lt. John Paul Green, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. “We have to have a confession or people at the scene that say, 'Hey, I saw him killed.’”

To that end, CrimeStoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for any information about what happened to Joseph.

“It would be a big relief for us to have final closure and for somebody to be held accountable for what they done to him,” Hartsoe said. “Because it’s not fair. There’s people out there that know, they just don’t want to come forward.”