NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Even as she tries to make some sense of the death of her son following a severe beating in Columbus last week, Vanessa Wilson takes a measure of comfort and reassurance in knowing the kind of person her son was and his impact on others.
“It’s so senseless,” Vanessa Wilson said of Ryan Wilson’s violent death. “He was such a passive guy. He never wanted any trouble from anyone. He was a very caring, happy-go-lucky guy. He didn’t judge anybody.
“He was always trying to help everybody,” she said. “It always seemed he wanted to see the good in everybody.”
Ryan Wilson, 38, was found by Columbus police and emergency medical personnel lying on the street in an area in east Columbus on Thursday night after he was apparently assaulted by a number of people, according to his mother.
According to information learned by his mother about the case, her son was accosted by several males.
“They said they were cold, and took his coat,” she said. “He tried to appease them, and they were also apparently wanting money, but he had no money to give them. They ganged up on him. I heard it was four to six people.”
Ryan Wilson had been living in the Columbus area for about three months. Before that, he lived in Elyria with his mother.
He is survived by a twin brother, Bryon, and sister, Julie Trinemeyer, both of Elyria.
A friend who was with Ryan Wilson at the time of the attack ran off and contacted police for help, Vanessa Wilson said.
“We know he suffered and that’s what so hard,” Vanessa Wilson said. “His friend saw him, and he was really torn up over it. He’ll never forget that.”
She drove to Columbus the night of the assault and spent time with him before he died.
“I got to talk to him, touch his face and hair and kiss him and hold his hand,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion. “I just don’t understand why people do this.”
Her son never regained consciousness after the assault.
“He had such traumatic injuries,” his mother said.
Calls to Columbus police Homicide Detective Greg Sheppard for an update on the case were not returned Monday.
Over the weekend, Columbus police said officers were searching for a suspect in Ryan Wilson’s death, which they said was still being formally investigated as an assault rather than a homicide. Calls left with the Franklin County Coroner’s Office were not returned Monday.
A graduate of the Lorain County Joint Vocational School’s industrial electronics program, Ryan Wilson recently had worked as a licensed home health care aide, according to his mother.
A person of faith, he was a member of the House of Praise in Lorain and was known to have shared his faith with a number of people.
“Ryan told one man ‘What is it going to hurt you to accept God in your life?’ ” Vanessa Wilson said.
That man later called Ryan Wilson to thank him for his guidance, his mother said.
Despite their sudden loss, Vanessa Wilson spoke of the measure of peace it gives the family to know that her son’s death resulted in the saving of five lives because he was an organ donor.
“At least I know he saved those lives,” Vanessa Wilson said.
Wilson and her family are waiting for the body to be released by Columbus authorities.
“We can’t make (funeral) arrangements yet, but hopefully, it won’t take too long,” Vanessa Wilson said.
Vanessa, who works at Moen, said the company planned to make a request of employees for donations to help with funeral expenses.
“We’ve had a lot of people calling to talk about trying to set up funds to help,” Vanessa Wilson said.
Reichlin Roberts Funeral Home in Elyria is handling arrangements.