DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A first cousin of Rodney Helman spoke with 2 NEWS and hoped the couple could have received more help for when life fortunes turned. 

When Regina Crosley talked with 2 NEWS, her first words were “shock.” She was shocked that her cousin, Rodney Helman and his wife, Elaine, could have been involved in something like what happened.  

Crosley says everything turned for the couple when Rodney became sick a couple of years ago. 

According to Crosley, the couple was struggling to get by and had a couple of stints in jail. The first cousin believes the Helman’s were not trying to hurt the semi-truck driver.

“I know in my heart that they were not trying to hurt him,” Crosley said.

“I know that they probably protected him from really getting harm. You know, I mean, it’s just unfortunate that they happened to be in the vehicle, that they got into it. It wasn’t intentional to kidnap somebody or take anybody hostage. I know that for a fact. That’s not who they are. Absolutely not who they are.”