A Deltona man has been arrested after allegedly posting threats on Facebook to kill a family member of a former Purdue University student and cancer activist, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
John Matthew Pinkham, 39, was taken into custody at his home on Duncan Street in Deltona around 3:15 p.m. Monday. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant said Pinkham was transported to the VCSO substation in Deltona for questioning and then charged with making written threats to kill or injure, a felony, and held on $10,000 bond.
According to Gant, detectives determined Pinkham made multiple posts using an alias, “Julie Homan,” on the Facebook page of Tyler Trent, a Purdue superfan who was embraced by the school’s athletic teams during his battle with bone cancer, following news of the 20-year-old’s death last week.
Gant said the posts included threats of violence at a celebration of life service that was scheduled for Tuesday. Gant said they included:
“Cant wait till I can choke the life out of you” … “funerals coming and I will appear like the reaper”
“just wait until yall hear what I do at his funeral..i promise I will make headlines..i will kill his mother.. just watch I will be talked about forever..this is no idol threat.”
Gant said Trent’s spirit and positive attitude during his battle with bone cancer drew national attention and helped raise more than $100,000 for cancer research through the Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment and The V Foundation.
“The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office sends its condolences to Mr. Trent’s loved ones and its thanks to the Indiana Metropolitan Police Department for their hard work on behalf of Mr. Trent’s family,” Gant said.
He said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood encourages Volusia residents to join him in donating to the Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment at Purdue, by visiting https://giving.purdue.edu/TylerStrong.
Donors can also contribute to Purdue’s Tyler Trent Courage and Resilience Award for students who have encountered adversity in their pursuit of higher education.