Son charged after man, 72, found dead in Lake Saint Louis

The man claimed his father stepped on a shotgun and shot himself, police say
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 6:25 PM CDT
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LAKE ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Joseph M. Liszewski was charged with first-degree murder after his father was found dead inside his home in Lake Saint Louis Thursday.

Police responded to the 100 block of Rue Grand Drive around 1:30 p.m. A probable cause statement said a woman called 911 after Liszewski sent her concerning text messages saying something terrible had happened. The woman went to the house and found “blood and guns all over the place” and found the house trashed, the statement said.

Police Chief Chris DiGiuseppi said they believe Liszewski was under the influence of drugs at the time.

“The friend of the son’s who responded to the home had witnessed the scene and contacted us out of concern somebody was severely injured,” Chief DiGiuseppi said.

The 911 caller said Liszewski claimed his father stepped on a shotgun and shot himself. Liszewski also told that to police in an interview, the probable cause statement said.

Police officers talked to Liszewski at the front door of the house when they got to the scene. The probable cause statement said there were dried drops of blood on the front porch. Liszewski told officers that his father hurt himself and that he did not know where he was.

Officers saw pooling blood as well as drops and splatter in the kitchen and hallway. The man was found dead in the master bedroom with “severe trauma to his face.” He appeared to have a gunshot wound to the left side of his face and was covered with a comforter.

Police did not identify the father Friday, but neighbors identified him as Edward Liszewski, which matches property records for the home.

Police detained 37-year-old Joseph Liszewski and took him to the police department for an interview. The probable cause statement said he initially told police his dad stepped on a shotgun, claiming that is how he was shot in the face. Police said, however, he admitted to arguing with his dad between midnight and 1 a.m. Thursday.

In the next line of the statement, it says Liszewski admitted to shooting his dad with a shotgun in the kitchen. He did not call 911 after the incident and left the house around 5:30 a.m. in his father’s vehicle.

Liszewski was later seen on surveillance video at the Ameristar Casino. He went back to his dad’s house after going to the casino and called the person who later called 911, the statement said.

Neighbors like Ray Dinkins, who has lived in Lake St. Louis for 22 years, tell News 4 it’s rare to see crime scene tape up in the seemingly quiet neighborhood.

“There was probably 10 police cars when I was driving home from work,” Dinkins said. “Saw the yellow tape and didn’t see an ambulance or anything. It’s shocking and unfortunate to hear.”

However, this isn’t the first time officers have been called to the Liszewski family home.

“We’ve had contact at that address before for various things,” Chief DiGiuseppi said. “Nothing as severe as this.”

This is now the second incident in the bi-state this week where a child has been charged with killing their parent.

In Troy, Illinois Neil Howard has been charged with the murder of his mom, Norma Caraker.

Kat Cocivera with the Crime Victim Center says these domestic incidents can be complex, especially if the child is the caretaker of the parent.

“You don’t want your child to get in trouble,” Cocivera said. “You don’t want to see them go to jail so there’s that protective factor. They may have done something wrong. They may be abusing you but you love them and don’t want to see them taken away.”

Liszewski was also charged with armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm. His bond was set at $1 million (no 10%).