GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The family of a Jenison teen who died nearly seven years ago in a crash is appalled by a Facebook page they said used his death for its own political agenda.
Eric Helm, 18, died in January 2010 on his way to pick up his girlfriend and then head off to school.
“We’re all going to miss him so much. Everybody just loved him,” Helm’s girlfriend, Kelsey Loszewski, said at a vigil the day he died.
Helm’s parents didn’t ask for his legitimate Facebook page to be deleted following his death.
“It gave us the opportunity just pull it up and look at his smiling face once in a while,” Helm’s father, Bob Helm explained.
But when he and his wife saw another Facebook page with their son the focal point, they got a sick feeling. His picture and name have been used in a page called “Eric Helm for Donald Trump.” The page’s cover photo displays a message that reads “Do not let my death be in vain ~ vote for Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for my eternal peace. – Eric Helm.”
“It does nauseate me to think of somebody trying to say that unless Trump is elected, somebody who’s passed away almost seven years ago won’t be at peace and the infuriating part more so for us is how it affected our youngest son,” Bob Helm said.
“The other part that’s frustrating is that Facebook, if they would just make it public who’s creating these pages, then it wouldn’t happen,” Eric Helm’s mother, Kim Helm, said.
The Helms tried to report the page to Facebook, but say they were told was it was public domain.
They’re not the only ones infuriated. There are several comments on the page saying it should be reported and taken down to respect Helm and to keep the actual focus on the election.
“If you’re going to vote, vote on the issues. Don’t vote because it’s going to put Eric at peace because it has nothing to do with it,” Bob Helm added.
24 Hour News 8 discovered the Facebook page had been taken down sometime overnight Tuesday after our story aired.
*Editor’s Note: Helm’s father Bob was incorrectly labeled as “Greg” in an earlier version of this story. We apologize for the error which has been fixed.