Family puts up billboard for son killed by fentanyl poisoning along M-59

Fentanyl remains one of the most dangerous drugs on the streets, A Macomb Township family is devastated after their 17-year-old son died because of the drug.

They have now put up a billboard with their son's picture on it and a message: I didn't want to DIE! I was POISONED. Justice for fentanyl - poisoning victims.

"That's my baby, so much potential. He was so (musically) talented, he said always going to be a star, he knew it," said mom Kimberly Filippelli. "He never doubted it."

Just two days before his 18th birthday, Michael Filippelli took one pill, which happened to be 100% fentanyl, and died in his home. It was February 20, 2023.

His father, Mike Filippelli, spoke about the heartbreaking loss.

"Anything can hit you, (like) a song. Something on TV, something you might say, and it's just devastating," he said.

FOX 2: "Do you in any way, hold your son responsible?'

"Absolutely," Michael said. "He's responsible for his own actions as well. But his action wasn't to die. Hence the sign."

The Filippelli family, their late son Michael, far left.

The Filippelli family, their late son Michael, far left.

The sign is on westbound M-59 near Van Dyke. Mike and Kimberly say it's not a political sign. It's just for awareness.

"He was given a fake pill," Kimberly said. "He thought it was Percocet. How many people are dying because they're getting a fake pill. This is an epidemic right now."

"I hold our government officials partially responsible for allowing this poison to get into our country," Mike said.

The Filippellis are involved in a criminal case against the people who supplied the fentanyl. But admittedly, they miss the sounds of Michael's music in the home.

"Life's hard," Mike said. "I keep busy. I task, the more I talk, the better it helps me."

And the sign. Temporary for now, but could be a fixture. It represents a different way of talking about the serious problem of fentanyl.

FOX 2:  Is there anything you think looking back one thing if I could just do one thing over again, what would you do?"

"Hug my son," he said.