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Deltona Man Charged With Making Death Threats To Family Of Purdue Superfan Tyler Trent

Date Added: January 07, 2019 6:23 pm

Andrew Gant
Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations

Update, 5:30 p.m. 1/9/19: The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office has continued to cooperate with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in this case, and a few minutes ago deputies arrested John Pinkham, who was already in custody at the Volusia County Branch Jail, on a federal warrant. Inquiries on Pinkham’s federal charges should be directed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis.


A Deltona man who used Facebook to post threats to kill a family member of Purdue University superfan and cancer activist Tyler Trent was arrested today after an investigation by Volusia County Sheriff’s Office detectives working with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

John Matthew Pinkham, 39 (DOB 2/23/1979), was taken into custody at his home on Duncan Street in Deltona around 3:15 p.m. He was transported to the VCSO substation in Deltona for questioning and then charged with making written threats to kill or injure, a felony charge carrying a bond of $10,000.

Detectives determined Pinkham made multiple posts using an alias (“Julie Homan”) on Trent’s Facebook page, following news of the 20-year-old former Purdue student’s death last week. The posts included threats of violence at a Celebration of Life that was scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday):

“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.”

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. After Pinkham’s arrest this afternoon, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood encouraged Volusia residents to join him in donating to the Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment at Purdue ( Also at that link, donors can contribute to Purdue’s Tyler Trent Courage and Resilience Award for students who have encountered adversity in their pursuit of higher education.

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