Neighbors shocked, not scared

James and Sandra Helm

MOIRA — The kidnapping of Sandra and James Helm comes as a shock to all of the roughly dozen neighbors who spoke to the Times on Friday, but it doesn’t come as a scare.

The Helms said they were advised by the FBI not to speak publicly, but their neighbors have their back.

The situation is shocking in two ways: That it would even happen in Moira, a town of nearly 3,000 in Franklin County — some locals would contest that number as inflated — and who it happened to.

“Nothing happens here,” said one neighbor, who decided not to give his name.

None of the neighbors had a bad word to say about the Helms. They’re kind-hearted, hard workers and well known for their generosity. One neighbor said, if people were short on cash, Mr. Helm wouldn’t charge people for their entire bill when he was a mechanic. Another neighbor said Mr. Helm was their best foreman when they once worked together.

The kidnapping itself doesn’t bring about fear to those who live on Route 95. One neighbor said: “We don’t scare easily.” Another said his sense of security is not jeopardized because he has his own home protection.

The sentiment among most was that those who live on the road keep to themselves, but they wouldn’t hesitate to help a neighbor in need. Mr. Helm is no exception. He’s laid back, but also a man of his word, said Justus Martin, the town supervisor.

“It’s not that it just happened here, but that it happened to them,” he said. “Considering they are in their 70s, how can this be? But at least they are home now and recovering.”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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