NEWS

Delamotte followed encouragement of FB friends she didn’t know

Tim Novak was one of Nicole Delamotte's casual Facebook friends

Cleveland reporter's social media friends weren't really friends but social media acquaintances

CLEVELAND, OH – Nicole Delamotte got it in her mind to reach out to an uncle who didn’t stay in touch with “the family” and the family didn’t stay in touch with him.

The 30-year-old well-liked reporter hadn’t seen him in 15 years. Delamotte had fond memories of her father’s brother, so her Facebook post on October 14, 2018 describes a newly-found courage from being a reporter that emboldened her to go up to someone’s door she didn’t know and knock on it. 

The Facebook post generated 262 categories of “likes” and 11 comments from friends.  None thought of asking her to examine the idea of reaching out to a loner family member she hadn’t seen in 15-years.  All wrote for her to move forward on a decision that would lead to uncle Robert Delamotte’s trailer and his bullets inside her body before he took his own life.
Joann Ullman told her daughter she was “proud” of her decision.  The encouraging words imply Delamotte’s mother couldn’t have possibly known how her  daughter would have found her brother-in-law and his state-of-mind.
One writer, Alex DiFrancesco, encouraged Delamotte by sharing how they decided writers had the right to invade the privacy of the private citizens who were the relatives of the victim, and the person the state charged with the offense, just because they write.  

None of Delamotte’s encouragers suggested that she give pause and consider the privacy of a loner family member who had apparently shown no interest in her life over the past 15 years; or any other member of the family’s. 

While Delamotte wrote about a “journalist’s courage,” the camaraderie that came from her friends weren’t really from working journalists.

Tim Novak, another friend, encouraged Delamotte to “Be bold” and that “fortune favors us.” 

EJBNEWS reached out to Novak via Facebook messenger to learn how he knew Delamotte and why he encouraged her to pursue her reunion plan.  We sought to learn if he was aware she had followed up on her words and that her “yes” to the idea she shared resulted in her death.

Nikki Delamotte’s connections to Cleveland as a reporter touched all demographics and made her one of the area’s most liked journalists. Business woman Vel Scott described “Nikki” as well-regarded and expressed sadness at learning of her tragic death.

Novak shared that the two were “professional friends” and that he didn’t know Delamotte.    He learned through business associates that “something was amiss” was her as the way he heard about her death.  It was confirmed when he read her boyfriend’s post on “the wall.”  The term “wall” is a reference to a Facebook post.

Novak said he was not at all aware of her relationship with the relative described in Delamotte’s post and had no personal knowledge of her family history.   The “professional capacity” of their relationship came through his following her on social media.  Novak said he thinks he may have met her but he’s not a journalist.  He co-owns a beer brewery.

EJBNEWS supplied Novak with the words he used to encourage Delamotte and he wrote, “I feel like I did then.” 

“It is very brave to try to reconnect with family. Who could have imagined that this would come of it?” he continued.

In a follow-up response Novak wrote that knowledge of the outcome of the decision made him sadder.

“I hadn’t even thought about this interaction until now,” he lamented.

Eric Jonathan Brewer
Author, Investigative Journalist, Speaker, Politician, Consultant

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