Police Recall Four-Month Search for Lason Elliot, Wanted for Murder of Marty Lampe
|Elliot was finally apprehended last Wednesday hiding out at his brother's home in south St. Louis.|
Lampe, of Maplewood, was sitting in a Chevy Impala parked outside a convenience store in Sauget when a carjacker entered the vehicle, shot him twice in the stomach, kicked him to the curb and sped off into the predawn blackness. Two days later police found the Impala in north St. Louis stripped of its rims. The discovery also led to the name of a suspect: Lason Elliot.
Sauget police chief Patrick Delaney tells Daily RFT that he and his officers thought they'd have Elliot within days. Instead, it turned into a four-and-a-half month goose chase with Sauget detective Vito Parisi and the U.S. Marshals Service following one dead end after another.
"It was an extremely frustrating investigation," recounts Delaney. "Parisi literally worked on this every day. We got a lot of leads, but it seemed each time we arrived someplace we were a day -- or just a few hours -- too late."
|Marty "Martin" Lampe|
Finally, says Delaney, he got a call from the U.S. Marshals last week saying that Elliot had been spied on numerous occasions in south St. Louis. "We had the feeling that we might finally be closing in," says the police chief.
Last Wednesday at 3:55 p.m. a dozen lawmen comprising U.S. marshals and Sauget cops surrounded a house in the 4200 block of Gannett where one of Elliot's brothers had just moved. Hiding in a second-floor bedroom was Elliot.
|4200 block of Gannett in the Bevo Mill neighborhood|
"We're very fortunate," says Delaney. "Everyone we talked to told us that he is always armed with a handgun or a sawed off shotgun. It ended peacefully."
Elliot is being housed in the St. Clair County Jail unable to pay the $1-million bond that would secure his release. Delaney says Elliot told the judge that he's retained Scott Rosenblum as his attorney.
The Sauget police chief thanks those who called in tips to CrimeStoppers and the staff of Michael's Restaurant in Maplewood where Lampe worked.
"They were persistent in calling us and wanting to know what they could do to help," says Delaney. "Unfortunately, this case just took an unusually long time. I know a lot of people were frustrated -- including us."