Family remembers man electrocuted to death while tree trimming

A family is dealing with an unthinkable loss. 

On Saturday, 26-year-old Erik Stilwell was electrocuted in Southfield. Authorities say Stilwell came in contact with a live wire while tree trimming and instantly died. 

“We had noticed that he had a burn on his right hand and there was a hole at the bottom of his left shoe. So, it had just gone right through him,” said Erik’s stepmother, Kathy Stilwell. 

The family is trying to take solace in the fact that Erik did not suffer. 

“Just thinking that this is what took his life to me is hard. I can’t handle it and it’s hard to think about.” said Erik’s cousin, Heath Stilwell. 

“We’re taking one day at a time,” Kathy said.  “In fact, maybe not one day, but one minute and second.  And we haven’t completely processed it. And we go from being so angry for Erik leaving us and him letting this happen for whatever reason, to being mad at somebody else.

Heath and Erik were first cousins, but they felt a lot closer. 

“He’s a brother, he’s not a cousin to me,” Heath said. 

The two were so close that they not only lived together, but even worked together at times. 

“Whenever I was with Erik, I felt like I was always safe,” Heath said. “I knew that he was knowledgeable. Our bosses always trusted him with a lot of stuff because they knew he can handle it.”

While those who loved him are heartbroken, they remember someone who had so many good qualities. 

The family has set up a Go Fund Me Page. Hoping to raise enough money for Erik’s funeral. Click here to view that page. 

“People who did not even know him have already donated and that means the world to us,” Heath said.