Some crimes just shock the conscience.
Already awash in anguish, the family of an 18-year-old Sebastopol man who died last month in Peru after drinking a hallucinogenic tea has been scammed by two con artists who stole more than $3,000.
After news of Kyle Nolan's death last month at a 10-day program in the Amazonian jungle made international headlines, well-wishers began donating money to help the family, who took time off work to fly to Peru twice looking for answers in Nolan's death.
Clients and friends of Nolan's mother, longtime veterinarian Ingeborg Oswald, poured into her Blue Sky Veterinary Hospital in Rohnert Park to express their condolences. About $1,000 in donations was being held at the front desk in a tissue box decorated with hearts and the words "Kyle Nolan Memorial Fund."
On Thursday, a female con artist missing several front teeth took advantage of the trustfulness of the office staff and made off with the box, the cash and checks inside.
Rohnert Park police are investigating, armed with a detailed description and possibly fingerprints of the thief.
Office manager Phylis Accornero called Oswald to tell her the news, with her heart in her throat. How could she tell the grieving mother that the box filled with donations had been swiped?
"I felt horrible," she said.
But it got worse. Oswald delivered perhaps even more disturbing news.
Someone called Oswald's mother — Kyle's grandmother — in Los Angeles on Wednesday and said he was Kevin, a triplet with Kyle and their sister Marion.