The James Robertson story was supposed to have a happy ending.
The story of the 56-year-old Detroit factory worker who walks 21 miles to and from work each day warmed the hearts of the nation after his tale of perseverance went viral. Some $350,000 was raised for Robertson—not to mention, a local Ford dealership gave him a brand-new 2015 Ford Taurus.
But shortly after the hype started to die down, Robertson told Vice News that he’d received death threats and that his fears increased when he learned that Arthur Neal, an 86-year-old who claimed he’d hit the lottery for $20,000, was found stabbed to death on Feb. 1 in a house not far from where Robertson was living.
According to Vice News, Robertson’s girlfriend, her adult son and her ex-husband—all of whom live in the boarding house where Robertson was paying $200 for rent—began pressuring Robertson, who hasn’t received any money yet, for a payday.
The Detroit police, who believed that Robertson’s car would be stolen, allowed Robertson to park in their lot and recently escorted Robertson back to the house to gather his belongings so that he could move.
“We had a meeting with him [and] he expressed interest that he did not feel safe,” Police Capt. Aric Tosqui told the Detroit Free Press.
Robertson is currently living in temporary quarters and looking for a permanent place closer to his job.