Family, friends ride to remember Brian Helgeson

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BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU)- Just days after a Jackson County man is found dead on his property, a community of motorcycle riders comes together to honor his life.

Sunday, more than 70 motorcycles and riders came together to ride in memory of 57-year-old Brian Helgeson.

The Jackson County Sheriff's office says on Wednesday the body of Brian Helgeson was found on his property. His son, 20-year-old Lars Helgeson is in the Jackson County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.

The rumbling of motorcycle engines is a sound that’s become a staple of most Sunday afternoons at Sunset Tavern in Black River Falls

“We'd meet here on the weekends and it just got bigger after that. We started making patches after that the Sunday funday cruisers and it’s been a really cool thing,” Timothy Meeler said.

On Sunday, the sound of motorcycles rumbling carried a new meaning.

“Its tragic, none of us expected this and it's a tragic thing and the people here today are here to honor Brian and ride with him,” Meeler said.

Seventy sets of wheels hit the road to remember their friend but there was one bike on the road that turned some heads and carried a very special meaning.

“Brian put most of that together it's a rather unique bike you always knew it was Brian when you met him coming down the road,” friend Larry Stenberg said.

It’s Brian’s three wheeled bike that riders say served a special purpose on Sunday rides

“He was in the back and if someone ran out of gas or had a problem he was always there to make sure they made it to their destination he was that kind of guy,” Meeler said. “His bike will be in the front today but it'll always be in the back of our minds no matter what.”

For the family, still coping with the loss of their loved one, Sunday’s ride was a day to wrap their arms around friends that will keep Brian Helgeson's memory alive.

“The family wants everyone to know that this is greatly appreciated and they are really touching their hearts,” family friend and neighbor Lynn Wilkinson said.

“This isn't his last ride it breaks all of our hearts to see what happened to him and he is loved and he's loved by a lot and you can look around and see it,” Meeler said.

No court dates for Lars Helgeson have been set.
Investigators said Thursday criminal charges could be filed in the next few days.