Authorities in Peru unearthed the body of a 2011 Analy High School graduate who died after drinking tea made from a hallucinogenic plant called ayahuasca during a spiritual retreat.
When Kyle Josef Nolan, 18, didn't return home to Sebastopol on Aug. 27 as planned, his family filed a missing person's report and went to Peru to look for him.
Subsequently, the shaman who led the ritual admitted burying Nolan's body on the property of the Shimbre Shamanic Center, about 530 miles east of Lima.
Police arrested the shaman, Jose Manuel Pineda Vargas, 58, and two men accused of helping Pineda bury the teen, Peruvian authorities said.
Pineda, who calls himself "Maestro Moncoluto," runs the Shimbre Shamanic Center outside Puerto Maldonado, a city in southeastern Peru. The area is the Madre de Dios jungle region of the Amazon basin bordering Brazil and Bolivia.
Nolan, who school officials confirmed graduated from Analy High, arrived in Puerto Maldonado Aug. 17, authorities said.
Pineda told local police that Nolan took ayahuasca during an Aug. 22 ritual and was found dead the next day, according to Peruvian National Police Col. Roberto Palomino, who discussed the investigation in a video that has been posted online.
Several reports indicate Pineda initially claimed that Nolan had disappeared.
Nolan's mother, Ingeborg Oswald of Sebastopol, traveled to Peru to search for her son.
"It's like he's vanished, there's just no sign from him," the Rohnert Park veterinarian said in a videotaped interview before her son's body was found.
In the video, Oswald held up a local newspaper story about the missing person's case and described her efforts to search for him.
Police later found Nolan's body "on property belonging to the manager of this refuge, Jose Manuel Pineda Vargas," Palomino said in the video.
Ayahuasca is a tea brewed with the leaves of a shrub called chacruna, a flowering plant called to?and "other natural substances," according to the Shimbre Shamanic Center's website.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or julie.johnson@)pressdemocrat.com.)